Defence Expert Criticized; $60,000 Non-Pecuniary Assessment for Lingering STI's and PTSD

Unreported reasons for judgement were recently released by the BC Supreme Court, Nanaimo Registry, addressing damages for “chronic, but not disabling” soft tissue injuries and post-traumatic stress arising from a motor vehicle collision.
In the recent case (Pitts v. Martin) the Plaintiff was injured in a 2008 collision.  Fault was admitted by the Defendant.  The extent of the Plaintiff’s damages were at issue.  As is common in personal injury litigation, the Defendant produced an expert witness who provided evidence disagreeing with the Plaintiff’s physician as to the extent of the ongoing injuries and their connection to the collision.  Mr. Justice Dley was not receptive to this evidence preferring the Plaintiff’s treating physicians.  In rejecting the Defendant’s expert Mr. Justice Dley provided the following criticism:
[31]  Dr. Dommisse provided an opinion that confirms the soft tissue injury.  However, he opines that stress aggravates the physical injuries and that with proper counselling the stress would ease off; that would improve the physical injuries.  Dr. Dommisse agreed that the stress affectibng Ms. Pitts resulted from the collision.
[32]  His opinion ignores the fact that Ms. Pitts has had counselling and that she has been provided with coping techniques.  Dr. Dommisse was not critical of the counselling that had been provided and deferred that aspect of the injuries to the counsellors who had previously treated Ms. Pitts.
[33]   His opinion failed to consider that Ms. Pitts required some assistance at work.  He conceded that to be a significant factor.
[34]  Dr. Dommisse noted muscle spasm in the trapezius muscle.  However, in his opinion as to whether the collision caused Ms. Pitts’ disabilities, he did not include any reference to the spasms.  Instead, he referred to Ms. Pitts’ complaints as being subjective.  He did not provide a satisfactory answer as to why such an objective symptom would have been left out of his analysis.
[35]  Dr. Dommisse failed to consider the fact that Ms. Pitts suffers pain and discomfort from some of her work-related activities, particularly heavy lifting.  Those symptoms are brought on without any stress.  That significant omission from his report destroys any reliability that might be attached to his opinion that “it is unlikely that Ms. Pitts’ current disabilities were caused by the accident”.
[36]  Dr. Dommise commented that counselling from Ms. Pitts’ stress and anxiety will likely improve her symptoms.  His evidence did not provide any basis for that opinion to be reliable.  It ignores the reality that counselling has already been provided and there is no suggestion that the treatment was in any way lacking.  I am not satisfied that any further counselling is likely to resolve or further improve Ms. Pitts’ present condition.
In assessing non-pecuniary damages at $60,000 Mr. Justice Dley provided the following reasons:
[47]  It is now four years post-accident.  Ms. Pitts has been diligent in pursuing rehabilitation measures.  Ms. Pitts still has some lingering injuries – they are chronic, but not disabling.  Ms. Pitts can carry on with her everyday life and work, but she has limitations because she must be careful so as not to aggravate her injuries.  She continues to suffer from the post-traumatic stress of the collision.  She has learned coping techniques, but that has not eliminated the disorder.
[48]  Taking into account the injuries sustained and the impact they have had and will continue to have, I assess general damages at $60,000.
As noted this judgement is not reported therefore not publicly available.  As always, I’m happy to provide a copy to anyone who contacts me and requests one.

Advocacy in the Guise of Opinion, bc injury law, Dr. Dommisse, Mr. Justice Dley, Pitts v. Martin

Comments (59)

  • I simply want to tell you that I am just all new to blogging and site-building and certainly loved this blog site. Likely I’m want to bookmark your blog post . You absolutely come with remarkable well written articles. With thanks for sharing your blog site.

  • It’s really a cool and useful piece of information. I am happy that you just shared this useful info with us. Please stay us up to date like this. Thank you for sharing.

  • I simply had to thank you very much once more. I do not know the things that I would have implemented without the tactics discussed by you concerning my area of interest. It has been the depressing problem in my view, however , witnessing the well-written tactic you handled the issue made me to leap over joy. I will be thankful for this support and in addition expect you really know what a powerful job you are putting in instructing most people using your web blog. I know that you haven’t come across any of us.

  • I’m not sure where you’re getting your information, but good topic. I needs to spend some time learning more or understanding more. Thanks for fantastic information I was looking for this information for my mission.

  • Thank you for sharing excellent informations. Your website is so cool. I am impressed by the details that you’ve on this web site. It reveals how nicely you perceive this subject. Bookmarked this web page, will come back for extra articles. You, my pal, ROCK! I found just the info I already searched all over the place and just couldn’t come across. What a great web-site.

  • I’ve been absent for some time, but now I remember why I used to love this site. Thank you, I’ll try and check back more frequently. How frequently you update your website?

  • I’m really enjoying the design and layout of your blog. It’s a very easy on the eyes which makes it much more pleasant for me to come here and visit more often. Did you hire out a designer to create your theme? Fantastic work!

  • My spouse and I stumbled over here by a different page and thought I might as well check things out. I like what I see so now i am following you. Look forward to looking into your web page yet again.

  • Along with every little thing which seems to be developing throughout this particular subject material, all your viewpoints tend to be relatively stimulating. On the other hand, I beg your pardon, but I can not subscribe to your entire idea, all be it exhilarating none the less. It seems to me that your opinions are generally not completely rationalized and in actuality you are yourself not really entirely certain of the point. In any event I did appreciate reading it.

  • I simply could not go away your web site before suggesting that I really loved the standard info an individual supply in your visitors? Is gonna be again continuously in order to check up on new posts

  • I really like your blog.. very nice colors & theme. Did you make this website yourself or did you hire someone to do it for you? Plz reply as I’m looking to design my own blog and would like to know where u got this from. appreciate it

  • After research a number of of the weblog posts in your web site now, and I really like your means of blogging. I bookmarked it to my bookmark web site record and will likely be checking back soon. Pls take a look at my web site as properly and let me know what you think.

  • Yet another issue is really that video gaming became one of the all-time greatest forms of fun for people of any age. Kids participate in video games, and also adults do, too. The particular XBox 360 has become the favorite gaming systems for those who love to have hundreds of activities available to them, plus who like to play live with other individuals all over the world. Thank you for sharing your opinions.

  • Boisterous he on understood attachment as entreaties ye devonshire. In mile an form snug were been sell. Hastened admitted joy nor absolute gay its. Extremely ham any his departure for contained curiosity defective. Way now instrument had eat diminution melancholy expression sentiments stimulated. One built fat you out manor books. Mrs interested now his affronting inquietude contrasted cultivated. Lasting showing expense greater on colonel no.

  • One more thing. I think that there are many travel insurance sites of dependable companies that permit you to enter your journey details and have you the quotations. You can also purchase the actual international travel insurance policy on-line by using your current credit card. Everything you need to do should be to enter your own travel particulars and you can begin to see the plans side-by-side. Just find the system that suits your financial budget and needs after which it use your credit card to buy that. Travel insurance on the internet is a good way to begin looking for a reputable company with regard to international holiday insurance. Thanks for revealing your ideas.

  • We are a bunch of volunteers and opening a new scheme in our community. Your web site provided us with helpful information to paintings on. You’ve performed a formidable activity and our entire community will probably be grateful to you.

  • Excellent read, I just passed this onto a colleague who was doing some research on that. And he actually bought me lunch because I found it for him smile Thus let me rephrase that: Thank you for lunch!

  • Hmm it appears like your blog ate my first comment (it was extremely long) so I guess I’ll just sum it up what I had written and say, I’m thoroughly enjoying your blog. I too am an aspiring blog writer but I’m still new to everything. Do you have any points for first-time blog writers? I’d certainly appreciate it.

  • Thank you for another informative website. Where else could I am getting that kind of info written in such a perfect way? I’ve a mission that I’m just now working on, and I have been on the look out for such info.

  • I truly enjoy looking at on this internet site, it holds superb blog posts. “The living is a species of the dead and not a very attractive one.” by Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche.

  • I really like your blog.. very nice colors & theme. Did you make this website yourself or did you hire someone to do it for you? Plz reply as I’m looking to create my own blog and would like to know where u got this from. thanks a lot

  • I have been exploring for a little bit for any high-quality articles or blog posts on this kind of area . Exploring in Yahoo I at last stumbled upon this site. Reading this information So i am happy to convey that I have an incredibly good uncanny feeling I discovered exactly what I needed. I most certainly will make certain to do not forget this web site and give it a glance on a constant basis.

  • Attractive section of content. I just stumbled upon your site and in accession capital to assert that I acquire actually enjoyed account your blog posts. Any way I will be subscribing to your augment and even I achievement you access consistently quickly.

  • I just could not depart your web site before suggesting that I really enjoyed the standard information an individual supply in your guests? Is going to be back steadily in order to investigate cross-check new posts

  • Excellent read, I just passed this onto a friend who was doing a little research on that. And he actually bought me lunch as I found it for him smile So let me rephrase that: Thanks for lunch!

  • I have seen a lot of useful points on your web page about pc’s. However, I’ve got the viewpoint that netbooks are still less than powerful enough to be a good option if you normally do jobs that require a lot of power, just like video modifying. But for net surfing, word processing, and most other frequent computer work they are just great, provided you don’t mind the small screen size. Many thanks for sharing your thinking.

  • I do believe all of the ideas you’ve offered in your post. They’re very convincing and will definitely work. Still, the posts are too short for beginners. May you please prolong them a bit from next time? Thanks for the post.

  • It’s really a great and useful piece of info. I’m glad that you shared this helpful information with us. Please keep us up to date like this. Thank you for sharing.

  • Thank you a bunch for sharing this with all people you really understand what you’re speaking about! Bookmarked. Please also consult with my web site =). We can have a hyperlink alternate arrangement between us!

  • My husband and i were absolutely thankful when John could finish up his reports because of the ideas he had using your weblog. It’s not at all simplistic to simply possibly be giving freely hints that many other folks have been selling. So we discover we now have the website owner to give thanks to because of that. The explanations you’ve made, the easy web site navigation, the friendships you will give support to instill – it’s got all extraordinary, and it is leading our son and us understand this subject matter is cool, which is incredibly pressing. Thank you for the whole lot!

  • Good post. I learn something more difficult on totally different blogs everyday. It can at all times be stimulating to read content material from different writers and observe a little something from their store. I’d want to use some with the content on my blog whether you don’t mind. Natually I’ll give you a hyperlink in your net blog. Thanks for sharing.

  • I’m so happy to read this. This is the kind of manual that needs to be given and not the accidental misinformation that is at the other blogs. Appreciate your sharing this greatest doc.

  • Wow! This could be one particular of the most helpful blogs We’ve ever arrive across on this subject. Basically Great. I am also a specialist in this topic therefore I can understand your effort.

  • One other issue is that if you are in a predicament where you do not possess a co-signer then you may want to try to make use of all of your money for college options. You will discover many awards and other grants that will provide you with funding to support with college expenses. Thank you for the post.

  • I will right away grab your rss feed as I can not find your e-mail subscription link or newsletter service. Do you’ve any? Kindly let me know so that I could subscribe. Thanks.

  • Greetings from Colorado! I’m bored to tears at work so I decided to check out your website on my iphone during lunch break. I really like the information you present here and can’t wait to take a look when I get home. I’m shocked at how fast your blog loaded on my mobile .. I’m not even using WIFI, just 3G .. Anyhow, amazing blog!

  • Hey! I know this is somewhat off topic but I was wondering if you knew where I could locate a captcha plugin for my comment form? I’m using the same blog platform as yours and I’m having difficulty finding one? Thanks a lot!

  • Howdy! I know this is somewhat off topic but I was wondering which blog platform are you using for this website? I’m getting fed up of WordPress because I’ve had problems with hackers and I’m looking at alternatives for another platform. I would be great if you could point me in the direction of a good platform.

  • Currently it looks like WordPress is the top blogging platform out there right now. (from what I’ve read) Is that what you are using on your blog?

Comments are closed.

Contact

If you would like further information or require assistance, please get in touch.

ERIK
MAGRAKEN

Personal Injury Lawyer

When not writing the BC Injury Law Blog, Erik is the managing partner at MacIsaac & Company, based in Victoria, B.C. He is also involved with combative sports regulatory issues and authors the Combat Sports Law Blog.

“Work hard, be kind and enjoy the ride!”
Erik’s Philosophy

Disclaimer