Reasons for Judgement were released last week by the BC Supreme Court, Vancouver Registry, assessing damages for a chronic low back injury following a motor vehicle collision.
In last week’s case (Connolly v. Cowie) the Plaintiff was involved in a 2009 rear-end collision. Fault was admitted by the rear motorist. The 35 year old plaintiff suffered from chronic low back pain following the collision. Ultimately the injury was diagnosed as an “indiscreet pain syndrome” affecting the plaintiff’s left sacroiliac region. In assessing non-pecuniary damages at $50,000 Mr. Justice Butler provided the following reasons:
 In summary, I conclude that Ms. Connolly suffered a significant low back strain as a result of the accident. The accident has caused injury to the myofascial tissues in her left sacroiliac region. The injury has not resolved in spite of her aggressive attempts to continue with exercise and chiropractic treatment and some physiotherapy. She now has chronic pain which is not disabling, but does restrict the type and extent of activities and exercises she can perform. She is still able to do most household tasks, but it is likely she will continue to experience pain with activities. It is unlikely that the pain symptoms will resolve…
 Here, Ms. Connolly is unable to continue with long distance running. She does not take medications like Ms. Dutchak, but has persisted with more restricted activities. In the past, she thrived on the combination of exercise and camaraderie with a group of fellow competitors. Her inability to continue with that is a significant loss to her. She has continued to exercise and is now focusing on cycling as a replacement for her previous passion, but has had to give up her dream of working as a fitness instructor. She put much thought and several years of work into attempting to develop a skill that would provide her with income and help fulfil her desire to do strenuous exercise with like-minded people. She is no longer able to do that and this is a significant loss.
 In addition to these significant losses, she has to put up with continuing pain and it is likely this will not abate in the future. Considering all of the circumstances, I find that $50,000 is an appropriate award for non-pecuniary loss.
To access my archived posts of other recent BC Supreme Court decisions assessing damages for SI Joint Injuries in ICBC Claims you can click here.