In this personal injury case the claimant was injured in two car accidents and claimed to have suffered a chronic pain syndrome. The judge found the medical expert opinion evidence presented to be highly unsatisfactory. Therefore judge Saunders was not persuaded that there was a “but for” causative link between either of the subject accidents and the claimant’s current headaches or psychiatric issues (Khudabux v. McClary,2016 BCSC 1886).
Rather than making a global assessment of the claimant’s current condition the court assessed damages by making findings as to the contribution made by the first and second MVAs to the claimant’s condition since the first MVA, having regard to the factors set out in Stapley.
With respect to her physiological injuries, the claimant was experiencing ongoing physical symptoms of pain prior to the first MVA and the first collision likely resulted in a significant aggravation of pre-existing mid-back pain, and continued to contribute to the claimant’s symptoms in that regard. It resulted in moderate, temporary aggravation of the claimant’s pre-existing headache symptoms, which have now resolved. The second accident temporarily aggravated the pre-existing neck, shoulder and knee pain. It is likely that the impact of both the first and second collisions had the additional effect of further reducing the claimant’s resiliency, in terms of her ability to recover from the physical and mental (psychiatric and psychological) effects of future trauma, though to a relatively modest degree. The court assessed her non-pecuniary damages globally for pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life at $75,000.