$70,000 Non-Pecuniary Damage Assessment for Subligamentous Disc Herniation
Reasons for judgement were released last week by the BC Supreme Court, Kamloops Registry, assessing fault and damages stemming from a 2006 motor vehicle collision.
In last week’s case (Power v. Carswell) the Plaintiff was involved in a two vehicle collision in Kamloops, BC. The Defendant blew a red light while attempting a left hand turn and collided with the Plaintiff’s vehicle. Although he denied liability the Court found him fully at fault.
The Plaintiff suffered various injuries in this collision the most serious of which was a subligamentous disc herniation at L4-L5.
She was expected to have chronic lower back pain as a result of this injury. In assessing non-pecuniary damages (money for pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life) at $70,000 Madam Justice Gray provided the following reasons:
 Ms. Power suffered moderate soft tissue injuries to her chest, left neck, left shoulder, and lower back in the Accident. The Accident caused a subligamentous disc herniation at L4-L5 which has caused her significant pain in her lower back. Despite painful treatment by cortisone injections into her hips and epidurally, her pain persists.
 Ms. Power now experiences hip and lower back pain which limits her ability to sit, stand, walk, and bend. She also experiences shoulder pain which limits her ability to hold her hands near or above shoulder level. As a result of these limitations, she can no longer work as a hairstyling teacher. Ms. Power made significant efforts following the Accident to continue in that line of work, but even with significant modifications, she was not able to do so on a prolonged basis. She has made the reasonable decision to pursue a different career which will more likely suit her physical capacity.
 As a result of her injuries, Ms. Power is also less able to care for herself and her family. For example, she has difficulty styling her own hair and doing laundry and other chores.
 As a further result of her injuries, Ms. Power suffers pain and is less able to enjoy recreational activities. For example, she is less able to go on long walks, to dance, and to sit for long drives or movies…
 In all the circumstances, an appropriate award for Ms. Power’s non-pecuniary losses is $70,000.