$100,000 Award For Back Injury Requiring Discectomy

In Peso v. Holloway, the Plaintiff was injured in a motor vehicle collision, and brought an ICBC claim for damages. The Plaintiff had minor, pre-existing back pain, however this did not interfere with the ability to enjoy his life. As a result of the accident, the Plaintiff required surgery in the form of a discectomy, which occurred approximately one year after the accident. The Court ruled that the Plaintiff had suffered chronic pain up to this point, and that his future recreational activities would be curtailed. Future surgery was also very likely. The Court awarded $100,000 for pain and suffering.


[71]         According to Dr. Street, in the absence of the collision Mr. Peso would have likely continued to experience mild, non-disabling symptoms in his low back. As a result of the collision, Mr. Peso required surgery and faces a significant risk of additional surgery at some point in the future. He is limited in his capacity to perform some aspects of his work. His left leg is weaker than the right and his capacity to lift is diminished. Mr. Peso, a gifted athlete before the collision, is unlikely to return to anything close to his pre-collision level of activity.


[72]         Non-pecuniary damages ought to be assessed in the context of a young man who has sustained a permanent, life changing injury. It was clear from Mr. Peso’s testimony that he has not let his injuries stop him. He has persevered with school and actively hid his symptoms from his employer. He has tried all of his former activities but he has only been able to tolerate some successfully. It is clear that despite Mr. Peso’s determination he has real fears about his future. He worries about recurrence of pain and he worries he will be expected to perform tasks that he cannot do.


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