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Tag: orbital fracture

$31,000 Non-Pecuniary Assessment for Orbital Floor Fracture

Reasons for judgement were released today by the BC Supreme Court, Prince George Registry, assessing damages for an orbital floor fracture at $31,000.
In today’s case (Bunna (Guardian ad litem of) v. Bunah) the Plaintiff, who was 5 at the time of the collision, was involved in a 2012 crash.  He suffered a fracture to his orbital floor along with some lingering anxiety following the crash.  In assessing non-pecuniary damages at $31,000 Madam Justice Watchuk provided the following reasons:

[13]         The most serious injury sustained in the accident was a displaced fracture of the orbital floor on the right side of his face.  It also healed.  The orbital floor is adjacent to the maxillary sinus and it is not known if there was also a fracture of the maxillary sinus.  As surgery was not required, there was no further investigation of the fracture and possible fracture which would be adjacent to each other in this young boy’s facial area. 

[14]         The extensive swelling was described by a doctor on February 20, 2012 to be “severe swelling in the right facial region with severe bruising, almost unable to open his right eye”.  The bruising lasted a maximum of six months.  There has been no scarring.

[15]         In summary, during the night in the hospital in Mackenzie, Julien had pain and cried quite a bit as he did on the way home to Quesnel.  He had some pain for a few weeks, and for few months he had occasional pain if his face was touched.  He had some anxiety for about six months following the accident.  The long-term effect has been upset and stress and crying from the worry when his mother is late.  He worries that she has been in a car accident if she is late.  This has occurred ongoingly, and a couple of times in 2015, most recently in November 2015…

[18]         With regard to the nature of the injury, the most serious is the fracture of the orbital floor on the right side of the face.  It was accompanied by extensive bruising and swelling.  It resolved without surgery within six months.

[19]         With regard to loss or impairment of life, emotional suffering and severity of duration of pain, due to Julien’s young age at the time, just turned five years old, the evidence is obtained primarily from his aunt’s observations in her frequent visits with him.  From the descriptions, Julien is a stoic and resilient child and recovered quickly, also within six months.  The only lingering effect is that he becomes fearful and upset when his mother is late in arriving to pick him up because he is worried that there has been another accident.  This fear has occurred repeatedly.  In 2015 it happened twice when his mother was late, most recently in November 2015…

[23]         In this case particular weight is given to the plaintiff’s age, his stoicism in the circumstances of the accident, and the emotional suffering of such a young plaintiff.  Non-pecuniary damages are assessed at $31,000.

Aggravated Assault Causing Orbital Fracture Leads to $50,000 Non-Pecuniary Assessment

In an expensive lesson that problems should not be solved with violence, reasons for judgement were released this week by the BC Supreme Court, Nelson Registry, assessing damages for a facial fracture caused by an assault.
In this week’s case (Plishka-Humphreys v. Bolen) the Plaintiff was walking with friends by a highway when “unbeknownst to him his friend Arnie van der Holt took a slingshot and ball bearing and shot it at a vehicle which was owned and driven by the defendant Bolen.“.  The Defendant chased the Plaintiff and his friend into the woods and “hit him in the face with considerable force. He fell down. He repeatedly was struck in the head and face. He was in and out of consciousness and was in shock.”
The Plaintiff suffered an orbital fracture and ultimately required surgery.  He was left with permanent issues including occasional double vision. In addition to being criminally convicted of aggravated assault, the Defendant was found civilly liable and ordered to pay damages.  In assessing non-pecuniary loss at $50,000 Mr. Justice Cole provided the following reasons:
[20]         I am satisfied that the plaintiff received permanent injury to his eye because of his double vision. He is also at risk of developing glycoma and he suffers from anxiety and thoughts of suicide. He is now more vulnerable to further exacerbation of his post-traumatic stress disorder. He has lost a tooth in what was a traumatic violent assault.
[21]         The range of damages, according to the plaintiff, is (figure is adjusted for inflation) between $24,000 in Springett v. Shanklin, 2001 BCSC 853 and $53,700 in Minet v. Kossler, 2007 YKSC 30.
[22]         Considering and weighing all the evidence, the trauma that the plaintiff experienced, the permanent damage to his eye which causes him to suffer on occasion from double vision and is suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (“PTSD”) and is at an increased risk of anxiety and depresic disorder, I am satisfied that an appropriate award including aggravated damages is the sum of $50,000.