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"Rigid" Expert Evidence Regarding Soft Tissue Injuries Rejected by BC Supreme Court

Reasons for judgement were released this week by the BC Supreme Court, Vancouver Registry, dismissing ‘rigid’ evidence which downplayed the relationship between lingering symptoms and a motor vehicle collision.
In this week’s case (Mezo v. Malcolm) the Plaintiff suffered a variety of soft tissue injuries in a motor vehicle collision.  These remained symptomatic at the time of trial.  The Defendant hired an independent medical examiner who stated that “all soft tissue injuries heal within 12 to 16 weeks after a motor vehicle accident….the plaintiff’s symptoms outside this time range cannot be soft tissue injuries related to the trauma of the Accident
In rejecting this ‘rigid’ opinion as unhelpful Madam Justice Russell provided the following reasons:
[114]     I found Dr. Bishop to be rigid in his point of view and unable to do other than say that if the plaintiff’s pain continued long past the 12 to16 month time limit for the healing of soft tissue injuries, the pain could not come from soft tissue injuries. In my view, this begs the question of why the plaintiff continues to suffer pain from activities which place stress on her spine. That her injuries are not objectively demonstrable does not mean she does not suffer pain.
[115]     Dr. Bishop agreed in cross-examination that there can often be soft tissue injuries in patients where the pain endures more than 16 weeks but which are not objectively determinable.
[116]     The plaintiff’s pre-existing low back pain has not been a factor in the injuries stemming from the Accident.
[117]     I did not find Dr. Bishop’s report helpful.

Advocacy in the Guise of Opinion, bc injury law, Madam Justice Russell, Mezo v. Malcolm