$75,000 Award For Multiple Lower Back Disc Protrusions

In Roy v. Storvick, the Plaintiff was injured in a motor vehicle accident, and consequently brought an ICBC claim for pain and suffering and various other heads of damages, such as income loss, loss of future earning capacity, and cost of future care. The most serious of the Plaintiff‘s injuries were lower back disc protrusions, which were still symptomatic at the time of trial, approximately 3 1/2 years post accident. The Court awarded the Plaintiff $75,000.00 for pain and suffering, noting that :

 

[50] With respect to Mr. Roy’s lumbar spine, Dr. Murray comments:

As a direct result of [this motor vehicle accident], this 30-year-old carpenter sustained myofascial injuries to his cervical spine and a severe injury to his lumbar region where both clinically and radiologically he has evidence of lower lumbar disc protrusions principally at the L3/L4 level where there was an associated annular tear and also at the L4/L5 level where there was a moderate midline focal disc protrusion.

[51] Dr. Murray says that lumbar disc protrusions usually run a protracted course of recovery: a three year duration is not unusual. He expects that Mr. Roy will eventually become pain free.

 

[105] At the time of the injury, Mr. Roy enjoyed an active lifestyle. He was engaged in work as a carpenter and participated regularly and enthusiastically in many sporting activities. While he is able to continue his employment, the remaining aspects of his physical activities have come to an end. In reconciling the prognosis of Drs. Craig and Murray, I consider that Dr. Craig has an unduly optimistic view of Mr. Roy’s prospective recovery. I note that Dr. Craig had a more limited opportunity to observe Mr. Roy. He was also apparently unclear on the degree to which Mr. Roy was engaging in exercise.

[106] I further note that Dr. Craig dismissed Dr. Murray’s treatment of Mr. Roy and recommended that Mr. Roy be assessed by a kinesiologist. Mr. Roy was assessed by Mr. Hunt, a kinesiologist, who put him through testing and concluded that Mr. Roy’s functioning is compromised and that he will likely have increased rather than reduced pain.

[107] I find that Dr. Murray’s prognosis is more accurate and that his opinion Mr. Roy suffered a severe injury to his lumbar spine and a moderate to severe injury to his cervical spine is accurate. While Dr. Murray suggests that there may be some improvement, Mr. Roy is at risk of re-injury. He will also suffer from continuing pain and discomfort.

 

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