Reasons for Judgment of The Honourable Madam Justice Adair were given on December 23, 2020.
The Plaintiff, KM, now 31 years of age, was involved in three motor vehicle collisions. The first in March 2014, the second in December 2015 and the last was in May 2017. The Defendants have admitted liability for the accidents. Ms. M contends that, as a result of the collisions, she has been left with chronic pain in her neck and back as well as migraine-like headaches. She further maintains that, as a result of her injuries, she can no longer pursue her dream career as a remote-catering chef. In addition to non-pecuniary damages, Ms. M was seeking compensation for loss of past and future earning capacity, cost of future care and special damages.
The experts’ opinions on this matter were weighed significantly by Honourable Madam Justice Adair. Dr. Giantomaso, Physiatrist, opined that Ms. M “may experience pain and increased function in the future, however, this should be considered part of a long-term pain management strategy and should not necessarily be considered curative.” Further, Dr. Sexton, Neuro-Ophthalmologist, suggested “it is unlikely that she will get significant spontaneous improvement at this juncture. Nor is she likely to get significant spontaneous worsening. If she remains at her current level of function she is unlikely to be able to work full time. She will not be able to work full time in front of a computer screen.” With respect to prognosis, Dr. Robinson, Neurologist, opined, Ms. M “probably will continue to suffer from post traumatic headache indefinitely. It is possible that there will be an improvement over the next 2-3 years particularly should her headaches respond to the treatments …” Further, in Dr. Robinson’s opinion, Ms. M “will probably be able to work at least part-time in a job with light to moderate physical demands. Ideally, this should have flexible hours and the ability to regularly move about rather than be stationary for long hours in front of a computer.” Dr. Spivak, the Psychiatrist, indicated “It is the physical pain and consequential limitations from the accidents that have led to her emotional symptoms… There are no other factors that could account for the breadth and severity of her psychiatric symptoms, outside of factors related to motor vehicle accidents. Her symptoms have correlated logically and temporally with the indexed motor vehicle accidents.”
Honourable Madam Justice Adair found Ms. M to be a credible witness. “… Ms. M is both a credible and reliable witness. Her evidence concerning her life and functioning before the accidents, and her pain and limitations following the accidents, is supported by both medical opinion evidence … medical opinion evidence explains, from a medical perspective, how the injuries Ms. M sustained in the accidents can result (and, in Ms. M’s case, have resulted) in the pain and limitations Ms. M has experienced and continues to experience.
I find that, as a result of the injuries she sustained in the accidents, Ms. M has been left with chronic pain and debilitating migraine-like headaches, although there is some prospect that, with appropriate treatment, Ms. M’s headaches may improve. However, Ms. M will now have a life-time of managing her symptoms, and the trajectory of her life has been permanently changed.”
Non-pecuniary damages in the sum of $140,000; Loss of earning capacity to trial $180,000 (net); Loss of future earning capacity $1,000,000; Cost of future care $115,256; and Special damages in the sum of $15,639.56.