$175,000 Non-Pecuniary Assessment for Concussion With Permanently Disabling Consquences
Reasons for judgement were released today by the BC Supreme Court, Vancouver Registry, assessing damages for a fall causing a permanent head injury.
In today’s case (Harrison v. Loblaws, Inc.) the Plaintiff was shopping in the Defendant’s store when she slipped on a large pool of liquid laundry detergent which was on the floor. She struck her head on the floor and suffered a concussive injury from which she did not recover.
The Defendant denied fault but the Court found the Defendant failed to establish that they followed their protocols to ensure the store was in reasonably safe condition for customers.
The Court accepted that the Plaintiff developed symptoms “consistent with post-traumatic brain injury syndromes or post-concussion syndromes” and that these were permanently disabling. In assessing non-pecuniary damages at $175,000 Mr. Justice Basran provided the following reasons:
 The evidence of Ms. Harrison, and those who knew and worked with her both before and after her accident, is that she sustained injuries that have dramatically impacted every aspect of her life. Whereas before the accident she was independent, active and optimistic, she is now a mere shadow of her former self. She is unable to work or enjoy any of the activities she used to do before the accident, including walking, swimming, and travelling. She is dependent on her son and is far less socially engaged than she once was.
 Her prognosis is poor and any further improvement in her condition is unlikely. Taking into account the variety and longevity of these symptoms, her enjoyment of life has been dramatically reduced. ..
 Ms. Harrison was 48 at the time of the accident. She suffered a significant head injury and to this day, suffers from serious headaches and other symptoms which I have detailed. She has a permanent disability and she has suffered from a loss of confidence and a loss of enjoyment of life as a result of her accident. Her physical and mental abilities have clearly been impaired. As described earlier, she is no longer able to walk long distances nor is she able to swim. Her sensitivities to light, sound, and motion have dramatically affected her. She has clearly experienced a serious diminishment in the quality and enjoyment of her life. I note that Ms. Harrison retains a certain degree of optimism about the future and throughout this ordeal, she has taken significant steps to try to improve her circumstances.
 Having found Ms. Harrison to be competitively unemployable and suffering from symptoms that appear to be permanent, I must make an award that addresses her particular condition and recognizes the nature and extent of her loss. On that basis, I conclude that an award of $175,000 satisfies those principles.