$65,000 Non-Pecuniary Damage Assessment for Chronic Soft Tissue Injuries
Reasons for judgement were released yesterday by the BC Supreme Court, Nanaimo Registry, assessing damages for chronic soft tissue injuries following a motor vehicle collision.
In yesterday’s case (Miller v. Lawlor) the 24 year old Plaintiff was involved in a ‘violent‘ rear-end collision in 2009. Fault was admitted by the rear motorist. The Plaintiff suffered soft tissue injuries to his shoulder, neck and back which continued to cause problems in heavier employment and recreational tasks. The limitations were likely going to be permanent. In assessing non-pecuniary damages at $65,000 Mr. Justice MacKenzie provided the following reasons:
 I agree with the plaintiff that the medical opinions have not been seriously challenged by the defendant.
 These expert opinions, coupled with the evidence of the plaintiff and his father and co?workers, substantiate the plaintiff’s claim that he probably suffers from a permanent partial disability that still causes discomfort and pain mostly when he is engaged in strenuous above-the-shoulder tasks and bending over in restricted areas at work…
 In this case, the medical evidence is consistent in concluding that the plaintiff suffers from chronic pain and discomfort in varying degrees. I accept that his quality of life has clearly been diminished. The accident affected his ability to help at home with heavier chores such as chopping wood. He now curtails his surfing. He has become so cautious with respect to snowboarding that he does not do it at all.
 The plaintiff testified he continues to suffer sporadic pain and discomfort from the injuries he suffered because of the accident. I accept his evidence. I agree with Mr. McIver that the plaintiff has chronic soft-tissue symptoms that, according to the medical opinions, are likely to persist. They have continued for over three years and have affected his overall lifestyle as well as his ability to fully function at work. According to Dr. Adrian “’the prognosis for further recovery … over time is poor.” Unlike some, this plaintiff has not made numerous trips to a chiropractor or physiotherapist or massage therapist. I am satisfied this is because of his stoic personality coupled with the advice he has received from the medical personnel that his exercise regime is now the best thing he can do to minimize his symptoms. The infrequency of massage and chiropractic sessions should not be held against him.
 Taking into account the totality of the evidence and the authorities presented by both counsel, I am satisfied that an appropriate award of non-pecuniary damages here is $65,000.