$50,000 Non-Pecuniary Assessment for "Myofascial Pain Syndrome"; Rule 15 Soft Cap Exceeded
Adding to this site’s expanding database for BC soft-tissue injury assessments, reasons for judgement were released last week by the BC Supreme Court, Vancouver Registry, addressing damages for chronic soft tissue injuries with a poor prognosis.
In last week’s case (Bissonnette v. Horn) the Plaintiff was involved in a 2007 collision. Fault was admitted focusing the trial on damages. The Court found that the Plaintiff suffered various soft tissue injuries involving her beck, back hip and leg. The injuries continued to cause difficulties to the time of trial and were expected to linger into the future. In assessing non-pecuniary damages at $50,000 Madam Justice Gray provided the following reasons:
 I accept the evidence of Dr. Frankel that Ms. Horn continues to suffer with left hip, neck, left leg, and lower back pain, disturbed sleep patterns, headaches, anxiety, and weight gain as a result of her motor vehicle related injuries. I also accept his opinion that, as these symptoms have continued for over four years since the accident, her prognosis for full recovery is guarded. Dr. Chu testified that the prognosis was fairly good for Ms. Horn’s widespread myofascial pain syndrome and that it usually responds to active exercise and treating sleep or mood disturbances. I accept this evidence as well….
 Ms. Horn’s continuing pain has diminished since the accident, but remains significant enough to affect her work, recreation, and sleep. She suffered other symptoms closer to the accident, including severe headaches, a broken tooth, and a finger injury.
Global damages of just over $100,000 were awarded demonstrating the soft cap in action set out for fast track trials in Rule 15. This is not the first time this has happened since the new rules came into force and also confirms the disjunctive nature of Rule 15 allowing for the prosecution of claims over the $100,000 damage cap.