$70,000 Non-Pecuniary Damages for Chronic Myofascial Pain
Reasons for judgement were released this week by the BC Supreme Court, New Westminster Registry, (Bove v. Lauritzen) awarding a Plaintiff just over $180,000 in total damages as a result of a 2006 BC Car Crash.
Liability was admitted by the Defendant in the lawsuit leaving the Court to deal with only the issue of damages.
Madam Justice Gray accepted the opinion evidence of Dr. Hunt, an expert in the field of “emergency medicine and pain medicine” in its in entirety. Most of Dr. Hunt’s opinion is reproduced at paragraph 42 the highlights of which are as follows:
1. Chronic myofascial pain involving the right SI joint and right buttock with referred pain to the right hip.
2. Chronic myofascial pain right inguinal region.
3. Chronic myofascial pain right shoulder girdle.
4. Mechanical low back pain of a posterior element pattern localizing to the right L5/S1 facet joint region.
5. Mood disorder (mild) and sleep disorder (moderate) secondary to chronic pain condition.
6. Left trochanteric bursitis (mild).
MEDICAL VOCATIONAL CONSIDERATIONS
1. Restrictions with respect to her lower back and right buttock with referred pain.
(a) She must avoid all repetitive bending, twisting, stooping and moving in and out of awkward positions.
(b) She must work only in the sedentary category.
(c) She must avoid all prolonged sitting with no periods greater than 20 min or prolonged standing with periods no greater than 10 min or prolonged walking greater than 20 min.
(d) She must be able to stand, sit and move at will.
(e) She must avoid all lifting greater than 5 lbs and must keep the weight that she is lifting close to her body and avoid carrying it for any distance.
(f) Materials handling or activity is best done between mid chest and waist.
(g) She must avoid activities which involve extension of the spine.
(h) She must avoid walking repetitive flights of stairs or inclines.
2. Restrictions with respect to her mid thoracic spine and right shoulder girdles include:
(a) Avoid prolonged static positions of the neck and thoracic spine such as leaning forward.
(b) All activities with regards to the upper limb should be done below mid chest and she should avoid any repetitive reaching, pushing or pulling activities of the right upper limb.
When she is capable of attempting to return to a productive life, it will need to be on a very paced graduated return to work basis; it should take place over approximately two months and should be supervised by an occupational therapist and/or vocational counselor.
In assessing the Plaintiff’s non-pecuniary damages at $70,000 Madam Justice Gray provided the following summary of the Plaintiff’s accident related injuries:
 In summary, I find that the January 24, 2006 accident caused Ms. Bove moderate to severe chronic myofascial pain in her right buttock and lower lumbar region with symptoms reaching into the right hip and right inguinal region, and chronic myofascial pain in her right shoulder girdle, mechanical low back pain, mild mood and sleep disorder, and mild left trochanteric bursitis. It is likely that the bursitis will resolve fully. It is likely that the other problems will be ongoing, although there may be improvement in the low back pain and sleep disorder.
 Ms. Bove’s need for frequent changes of position, and the other restrictions described by Dr. Hunt, make it unlikely that Ms. Bove can be competitively employable…
54] Ms. Bove is entitled to $70,000 for non-pecuniary damages arising from the January 24, 2006 accident