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Tag: Diep v. Cunha

$75,000 Non-Pecuniary Assessment For Trochanteric Bursitis and Plateaued STI's.

Reasons for judgement were released today by the BC Supreme Court, Vancouver Registry, assessing damages for chronic soft tissue injuries and bursitis.
In today’s case (Diep v. Cunha) the Plaintiff was a pedestrian struck by a vehicle in 2010.  The motorist was found fully at fault.  The Plaintiff suffered soft tissue injuries which were plateaued by the time of trial along with a chronic hip injury which te court attributed to bursitis.  In assessing non-pecuniary damages at $75,000 Mr. Justice Verhoeven provided the following reasons:

[54]         I accept that the plaintiff suffered what can be described as soft tissue type injuries to her low back, left hip and thigh, and left knee in the accident.  These injuries have shown slow but substantial improvement over the course of more than four years since the accident.  It is possible that the injuries have plateaued as suggested by Dr. Fuller and to a lesser degree by Dr. Hershler. However her G.P., Dr. Kam, only states that her aches and pains and limitations will persist for an extended time.  In my view it is clear that the plaintiff’s condition can continue to improve, especially if she engages in the kinds of treatments suggested by Dr. Horlick. 

[55]         With respect to her low back pain, I prefer the opinion of Dr. Horlick to that of Dr. Fuller.  Dr. Fuller diagnosed sacroiliac rotation and malalignment. In his view while manual therapy could assist with the alignment problem, it might do more harm than good.  On the basis of his diagnosis he thought that remedial exercise would not likely help.  However, as he conceded, Dr. Fuller was quite unsure of the plaintiff’s diagnosis.  I am not persuaded that he is correct that her low back problem is other than soft tissue in nature. On that basis, the exercise therapy recommendations of Dr. Horlick are preferable, and in my view are supported by the other opinions and the course of her treatment and recovery so far. That is, physiotherapy and rehabilitation have been of benefit in the past.

[56]         I also prefer Dr. Horlick’s diagnosis of trochanteric bursitis as being the main problem with her left hip. ..

[77]         These authorities are helpful in that they serve neatly to bracket the appropriate award in this case.  Considering all the circumstances in this case, in my view $75,000 is a fair and reasonable award of non-pecuniary damages. This award includes $10,000 for her loss of housekeeping capacity, which I find should be recognized as an aspect of her non-pecuniary loss in the circumstances of this case.