She visited her family doctors many times, complaining of pain in her neck and shoulder. When she mentioned her recurrent coughing the doctor told her that it was not connected to her accident, and did not want to talk about it when they recorded accident-related symptoms.
Nobody found a cure for her coughing or linked it to the motor vehicle accident until she saw a treating Neurosurgeon. The Neurosurgeon formed the opinion that the claimant suffered a disc herniation in the motor vehicle accident and that disc protrusion, exerting pressure on her oesophagus, was the cause of her persistent cough. A surgery four years after the car accident significantly improved her persistent cough. As the Judge stated at paragraph 18:
After the operation, the changes included a drastic reduction in the amount of coughing. She was able to sleep at night, and she began to be able to sleep with her husband again. The coughing was not constant. She still had pain but it was much reduced. She had more range of motion in her left arm. Her evidence was that there was a substantial improvement in all of her accident-related symptoms after the operation, but in the last two months or so before the trial, which was approximately a year after the operation, things had levelled out.
The Judge was satisfied that on a balance of probabilities the motor vehicle accident caused a disc herniation at C5/6 on her cervical spine and that disc herniation was the principal cause of her persistent and debilitating cough.
In awarding the injury claimant $125,000.00 for pain and suffering the Judge considered the effect on her personal life, child-rearing responsibilities, marital relationship and her ability to participate in the exercise of her religion. The Judge awarded a total of $315,250.00 to the claimant as follows:
|Pain and suffering
|Past Wage Loss
|Out of pocket expenses
Posted by Mr. Renn A. Holness B.A., LL.B.