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$15,000 Awarded for Minor Aggravation of Knee Injury & Temporary Neck and Back Pain in ICBC Case

In the recently reported case of Everett v. Solvason, 2012 BCSC 140, Mr. Justice Jenkins awarded $15,000 in non-pecuniary damages (pain & suffering) after a three day trial to a plaintiff injured in a motor vehicle accident in September 2009 on the 152nd street onramp to Highway 1.  The plaintiff had been injured in an earlier car accident in 2008 from which he had made a 90% recovery.  He still suffered from ongoing chronic neck and back pain as a result of his earlier accident.  He had settled his earlier car accident claim for $15,000.  One month prior to the accident, the plaintiff had injured his knee in a softball game.  A major issue in the case was whether the 2009 accident aggravated his knee injury.


Comments on Injury in ICBC Case


Justice Jenkins found that the plaintiff likely suffered a “minor aggravation to the knee injury” as a result of the accident.  Regarding his injuries as a whole, Justice Jenkins said the following:


[24]         As a result of this evidence, I find that Mr. Everett had recovered significantly by the summer of 2010 and was able to undertake most activities he had been engaged in prior to the accident of September 3, 2009 but for the injuries sustained in the softball incident.


[25]         Regarding the back and neck pain suffered by the plaintiff, the defendant accepts that the plaintiff suffered a temporary aggravation of his pre-existing chronic pain condition, originally caused by the impact of the 2008 accident in which he was a passenger in his mother’s vehicle. Dr. Parhar found that the plaintiff suffered paracervical muscle strain, paralumbar muscle strain and muscle tension headaches arising from the accidents of May 16, 2008 and September 3, 2009. Neither Dr. Chin nor Dr. Day commented on the neck and back pain.


[26]         I also note that the use of prescriptions for Tylenol 3, Naproxen and another drug, two of which were for pain and one a muscle relaxant, fell off significantly during 2010 and is consistent with the plaintiff’s claim that by mid 2010 he was having some good days and some bad days. Likewise with the chiropractic and massage therapy, these treatments fell off considerably after the summer of 2010.


[27]         Although the plaintiff continued to have some neck and back pain along with headaches after the summer of 2010, the extent of those symptoms was nominal after that time. I find that the plaintiff did suffer from neck and back pain together with headaches as a result of the aggravation of pre-existing injuries caused by the accident of September 3, 2009 for a period of approximately one year.


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