$15,000 Non-Pecuniary Damages for "Minor Aggravation" of Pre-Existing Knee Injury
Reasons for judgement were released yesterday by the BC Supreme Court, Vancouver Registry, assessing damages for an aggravation of a pre-existing knee injury.
In yesterday’s case (Everett v. Solvason) the Plaintiff “blew out his left knee” while playing softball in the summer of 2008. The following month he was involved in a motor vehicle collision. The crash aggravated his knee pain. Following the crash the plaintiff had an MRI which revealed “a complex tear to the medial meniscus and a probable partial tear of the ACL”
At trial the main issue was what relationship the collision had to these injuries. The Court ultimately found that these injuries were caused by the softball injury but sustained a “minor aggravation” in the collision. In awarding damages of $15,000 Mr. Justice Jenkins provided the following reasons:
 The defence called Dr. Brian Day, an orthopaedic surgeon, who never did examine Mr. Everett but did review a great many reports and other documents including medical records which were in evidence at this trial. He concluded that the softball injury of July 30, 2009 was responsible for the injury to the left anterior cruciate and medial meniscus, i.e. the left knee injuries. In cross examination Dr. Day was clear that the accident of September 3, 2009 was not the cause of the knee injuries, in that he said that these kind of knee injuries are the result of a significant rotational movement in which the knee pops, swells, bleeds and would be the main complaint of the injured party. According to Dr. Day, the plaintiff having planted his left foot in anticipation of the impact from the vehicle behind would not likely have caused these injuries. The nature of the left knee injury is, however, consistent with the plaintiff’s description of the softball incident. It is clear to me, especially from Dr. Day’s evidence, that the cause of the knee injury was the softball incident. However, he did say that the accident could have resulted in a further tear of the medial meniscus originally torn in the softball incident. In the circumstances, I find that the plaintiff likely suffered a minor aggravation to the knee injury as a result of the September 3, 2009 accident…
 …I find a reasonable award for general damages for pain and suffering is in the amount of $15,000.