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$85,000 in General Damages Awarded for Injuries to Neck & Right Shoulder in ICBC Case

In the recently published case of Milliken v. Rowe 2011 BCSC 1458 Mr. Justice Davies awarded a total of $253,666 to a plaintiff injured in a motor vehicle accident in August 2007 in Roberts Creek on the Sunshine Coast.  The plaintiff sustained injuries to her neck, right side and right shoulder.  In awarding $85,0000 in general damages, the Justice Davies noted the following:


[85]  I find that the pain Ms. Milliken has endured has been debilitating


[86]  While she has worked through much of it of necessity, the cost to her of doing so has been great.


[87]  Her live has become a one-dimensional one in which activities unrelated to work have largely had to be put aside.  She no longer has the stamina or physical activity to care for her home as she previously did and has become socially reclusive because of that and her constant tiredness


[91]  Ms. Milliken’s suffering will not end with this litigation.


[92]  At minimum she must endure complex shoulder surgery and a lengthy period of rehabilitation in which she will continue to be unable to enjoy life as she once did.  Her likely future enjoyment of life is also compromised by the prospect that the surgery may be wholly or partially unsuccessful.


[93]  The totality of the evidence satisfies me that there is no question that Ms. Milliken will continue to suffer pain and suffering as well as loss of her enjoyment of life at least until after rehabilitation from surgery to her shoulder.


[94]  There is also a substantial likelihood that she will suffer ongoing pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment into the future after the shoulder surgery.


Loss of Earning Capacity in Injury Case 


Justice Davies also awarded the plaintiff $95,000 for a loss of future earning capacity in doing so he said the following:


[122]  In my view, Ms. Milliken really has no option but to attempt to alleviate bother her present difficulties and also improve her future prospects by undergoing shoulder surgery…


[123]  In result, her future capacity to earn income will be immediately impacted by the consequences of that shoulder surgery.


[124]  Also, because of her physical limitations, it is not realistic to suggest that Ms. Milliken could find employment as a manager in the fast food industry without the surgery.


[125]  The fast food industry is the only field in which Ms. Milliken has managerial skills that are marketable, and management positions in that industry require hands-on work involving physical activities she cannot do without significant accommodation both as to hours of work and assistance.


[126]  Retraining to more sedentary work might be possible but on the evidence before me, given her age and the potential for jobs for which she would then be suited on the Sunshine Coast, I am satisfied that the result of re-training and the securing of more sedentary employment would be a loss of income in the range of $15,000 to $20,000 per year.


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