$70,000 Non-Pecuniary Damages Assessment for Patellofemoral Knee Pain
Reasons for judgement were released this week by the BC Supreme Court awarding $126,000 in total damages as a result of injuries and loss caused by a 2006 BC car crash,
In this week’s case (Poulton v. Inderbosch) the Plaintiff was injured when the Defendant ‘went through a red light‘ and T-boned the Plaintiff’s vehicle on her passenger side. Fault was admitted by the Defendant focussing the trial on the value of the Plaintiff’s claim.
The Court heard competing evidence about whether the Plaintiff suffered a knee injury as a result of the crash. Mr. Justice Sewell decided that the Plaintiff’s knee in fact was injured. In awarding $70,000 for non-pecuniary damages (money for pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life) for the Plaintiff’s injuries the Court stated as follows:
 The plaintiff filed a medical/legal report of Dr. McKenzie, an orthopaedic surgeon. He examined Ms. Poulton on September 14, 2009. Dr. McKenzie is of the opinion that Ms. Poulton has ongoing left knee pain which is likely patellofemoral knee pain as well as ongoing pain in her neck and upper back. In his opinion her symptoms are caused by the accident including a direct blow to her knee…
 I conclude that Ms. Poulton did injure her left knee in the motor vehicle accident on January 27, 2006…
 In this case, Ms. Poulton has suffered an injury which continues to trouble her more than four years after the accident. Given the duration of Ms. Poulton’s symptoms and the inability of any of the treating physicians to isolate an organic cause for those symptoms, I agree with Dr. Mackenzie’s opinion that the prognosis for the resolution of Ms. Poulton’s pain is poor. There is evidence that Ms. Poulton’s headaches have significantly improved since the date of the accident and there is therefore some reason to conclude that those headaches will continue to improve. I am also mindful of the evidence that Ms. Poulton seems to be able to function with the assistance of medications. On the other hand, Ms. Poulton has testified that the injuries have had a significant impact on the quality of her life, particularly with respect to her ability to pursue such recreational activities as hiking and aqua size. ..
 I conclude that an award of $70,000 is appropriate in this case to compensate Ms. Poulton for her pain, suffering and loss of amenities of life. In assessing these damages I have taken into account that Ms. Poulton will likely seek symptomatic relief from medication for the reasons set out in paras. 50 and 51 of these reasons.
You can click here to read my archived posts of other recent BC Court Cases awarding damages for knee injuries.