Fibromyalgia in ICBC Injury Case
Ms. Iwanik was driving a Pontiac Sunfire that was struck on its passenger side by a Chevrolet Blazer. Ms. Iwanik’s car was written off. The Blazer sustained $2000 worth of damages. Liability for the accident was admitted by the Defendant.
Ms. Iwanik’s lawyer argued that appropriate damages would amount to $290,000, including $150,000 for a loss of earning capacity. ICBC’s lawyer argued that damages should be in the $35,000 to $85,000 range – including an amount from $0 to $30,000 for the loss of earning capacity claim.
After a six day trial, the Court found that Ms. Iwanik sustained the following injuries in the car accident: (1) soft tissue injuries to her neck, thorax and lumbar spine, causing a prolonged and sustained exacerbation of her fibromyalgia, and causing intermittent headaches; (2) an injury to her left knee, which caused patellofemoral pain syndrome; (3) a minor compression fracture of her T12 vertebra, and (4) a minor head injury with a probable minor concussion – both of those injuries resolved so quickly that the Court found that they did not affect the assessment of damages.
The Court found that if the accident had not occurred her fibromyalgia would have flared up periodically, but not enough to have restricted Ms. Iwanik from her work or her other activities. The Court also found that Ms. Iwanik was no longer able to work at a physically demanding job or engage in long walks. The Court found that she could no longer carry heavy items such as laundry and groceries, or garden for more than 20 minutes at a time, and was no longer able to contribute to her family and community to the extent she previously did.
Loss of Earning Capacity in ICBC Injury Case
At the time of the accident, Ms. Iwanik was 61 years old and working part-time as a sales associate in a 7-Eleven convenience store. In the past, she had held a managerial position with 7-Eleven. While Ms. Iwanik found work at a Husky gas station after the accident that accommodated her limited physical abilities, the Court found that job was not as well-paid as her former employment had been and did not offer her opportunities for advancement.
In the result, Madam Justice Gray awarded the Plaintiff $100,000 for her loss of earning capacity. On that issue, the judge said as follows:
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