$60,000 Non-Pecuniary Assessment for Lingering Soft Tissue Injuries
Adding to this site’s archived soft tissue injury database, reasons for judgement were released this week by the BC Supreme Court, Kelowna Registry, assessing non-pecuniary damages of $60,000 for lingering upper body soft tissue injuries.
In this week’s case (Olson v. Yelland) the plaintiff was involved in a 2012 rear end collision. The Defendant admitted fault. The Plaintiff sustained soft tissue injuries to her neck, mid back and shoulders which continued to pose problems at the time of trial. In assessing non-pecuniary damages at $60,000 Mr. Justice Weatherill provided the following reasons:
 On the whole of the evidence, I accept that the plaintiff received soft tissue injuries to her neck, trapezius muscles and mid-back and headaches that continue to negatively affect her function to some degree.
 I find that her pre-Accident lower back and left knee conditions would have significantly affected her ability to function at home and at work in any event of the Accident.
 I find that prior to the Accident and in any event of the Accident, her competitive employability and ability to perform homemaking tasks had already been significantly compromised. The soft tissue injuries she received from the Accident were superimposed on her Original Position and made it more difficult for her to manage her day-to-day activities.
 I find that the plaintiff has made significant recovery from the effects of the Accident within the past three years, but has been left with ongoing neck, mid-back, trapezius pain and related headaches.
 The injuries the plaintiff is left with, and that I accept, are soft tissue injuries to her neck, mid-back and trapezius muscles. They have caused increased frequency and intensity of headaches.
 I accept that these issues continue to affect her, and likely will continue for two to three more years. However, I find that the Accident related injuries pale in comparison to the unrelated issues she has with her low back and left knee…
 In the circumstances, and following the principles set out in Stapley, I find that a reasonable award for general damages is $60,000. As will be seen below, within this sum I have included the plaintiff’s claim for reduced homemaking abilities.