$120,000 Non-Pecuniary Assessment for Chronic Pain with Somatization Issues
Adding to this site’s archived postings of ICBC chronic pain cases, reasons for judgement were released this week by the BC Supreme Court, reasons for judgement were published this week by the BC Supreme Court, Vancouver Registry, assessing damages for chronic pain in a Plaintiff pre-disposed to somatization.
In the recent case (Alafianpour-Esfahani v. Jolliffe) the Plaintiff was involved in a 2012 rear end collision that the Defendant was responsible for. The Plaintiff alleged brain injury altogether this claim was not proven at trial. The court found the plaintiff was pre-disposed to somatization and suffered from a chronic pain disorder following the collision. In assessing non-pecuniary damages at $120,000 Madam Justice Sharma provided the following reasons:
 In light of the following factors, I find Ms. Alafianpour-Esfahani is entitled to $120,000 in non-pecuniary damages:
a) the accident caused soft tissue injuries to her neck, back and shoulder that resulted in headaches and developed (in combination with her predisposition to somatization) into chronic pain;
b) she has not likely reached maximum medical improvement of her physical symptoms, but any further improvement depends upon the success of addressing the reactivity of her nervous system, which will be challenging;
c) her physical symptoms have been prolonged because of her psychiatric condition characterization by a vulnerability to somatization and pathological nervous system reactivity;
d) her prognosis for improving her condition by following a thorough program of desensitization is fair, but that is tempered by the chronicity of her condition because it has been left untreated fro 3 ½ years;
e) the accident has negatively impacted all aspects of her life, including her relationship with her family, her social interaction, her ability to work, her recreational activities, her ability to maintain her home and yard, her ability to cook for family and friends; her ability to provide emotional support to her children, especially her daughter and her ability to travel.