Reasons for judgment were released yesterday by the BC Supreme Court, Vancouver Registry (Cabrera v. Sandhu), awarding a Plaintiff close to $350,000 in total damages for injuries and loss as a result of a 2003 BC Car Crash including an award of non-pecuniary damages of $60,000.
The collision occurred in Coquitlam, BC. It was a near head on collision for which the Defendant admitted fault. The issue at trial was quantum of damages (value of the Plaintiff’s claim).
The Plaintiff suffered various injuries including a “medial meniscus tear” which was stabalized through arthroscopic surgery. The Plaintiff also had a ‘partial tear of her ACL which had scarred back to her PCL” which required a second surgery to correct. The Plaintiff did not fully recover from these knee injuries by the time of trial and it was accepted that she was plateaued and “left with a significant and permanent disability.” It was also found to be probable that the Plaintiff would need further knee surgery in the future.
One of the key issues at trial was weather the knee injury was related to the collision because the Plaintiff’s knee complaints did not come until sometime after the crash. In accepting that the knee injuries were related to the crash Mr. Justice Rice accepted the evidence of the Plaintiff’s surgeon, Dr. Guy, who gave evidence that “it is common that passengers seated in the front of a car sustain knee injuries after having their foot braced against the pedal or floor board at the time of an accident. In that position, injuries occur as a result of hyper extension of the knee during the collision”
In addition to the knee injury Mr. Justice Rice found that the Plaintiff suffered from various soft tissue injuries described as a “mysofacial pain of the neck, upper and low back regions“. These injuries had ‘resolved somewhat” by the time of trial but caused occasional pain to the Plaintiff. The Plaintiff’s non-pecuniary loss was valued at $60,000 for these injuries.