The Reasons for Judgment of The Honourable Mr. Justice Marchand were given at Kamloops on March 31, 2021
The Plaintiff, NL, now 46 years of age, was injured in two rear-end motor vehicle collisions on January 16, 2016, and June 17, 2017, in Kamloops, B.C. The Defendants have admitted liability. Ms. L suffered injuries to her neck, back and ankle, ongoing ringing in her ears, headaches, low mood and mild driving anxiety. She seeks damages for her pain and suffering, loss of earning capacity, loss of domestic (housekeeping and handyman) capacity, cost of future care and special expenses.
Dr. Giantomaso, Physiatrist, opined that “She will likely continue to experience chronic pain to some degree long term in the future. By following my recommendations she may experience decreased 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.”
Mr. Justice Marchand accepted the expert evidence that supported Ms. L’s claim that she could no longer cope with the physically demanding position of a care aide. Nor was she able to carry on with her significant housekeeping, homemaking, yard work, handyman and house maintenance duties. The Judge’s findings are consistent with Dr. Giantomaso’s opinion, in that he states that he does “not expect her to make a full recovery.” Following a thorough cross-examination, the defendants essentially conceded that Dr. Giantomaso’s opinions were well-founded and not controversial.
Mr. Justice Marchand found “Ms. Lto be a credible and reliable witness. At a high level, she offered a logical and coherent version of events that was supported by the documentary evidence, expert reports and especially the testimony of the lay witnesses. In fact, the lay witnesses portrayed even more drastic changes in Ms. L as a result of the accidents than she portrayed herself. …My observations were consistent with Ms. L’s history of continuing to work during her recovery despite the high cost to her personal life. Ms. L is no malingerer.”
Non-pecuniary damages in the sum of $100,000.00; Past loss of earning capacity $2,500.00; Future loss of earning capacity $85,000.00; Loss of domestic capacity $40,000.00; Cost of future care $11,865.00; Special expenses $3,5121.8. The total award was $242,876.87 plus costs.