Court Awards $85,000 For Injuries to L5 and L3 Discs

In Shipley v. Bye, the Plaintiff was injured a rear end motor vehicle collision four year before the time of trial, and brought an ICBC claim for non-pecuniary damages, loss of income, diminished earning capacity, out of pocket expenses, and the cost of future care. The Plaintiff maintained that he suffered a permanent back injury, one which severely impacted his quality of life, and one which prevented him from returning to his pre-accident recreational activities. He further testified that he was unable to secure his journeyman’s ticket as a mechanic. The Court would award $85,000.00 for non-pecuniary damages for an injury to the Plaintiff‘s L5 disc, and for an aggravation of a pre-existing injury to his L3 disc.


[19] In his report of September 17, 2013, Dr. Weiss concluded that:

1. The motor vehicle accident produced an acute discogenic injury at the L4-5 level with possible L5 nerve root irritation. The plaintiff’s radicular symptoms had resolved and the disc prolapse had retracted.

2. The current pain that the plaintiff was feeling was multi-factorial from a discogenic lesion at the L4-5 level, a pre-existing but a symptomatic dysplastic L3‑4 facet joint which had become inflamed from the accident, and soft tissue/ligamentous pain at the ilio-lumbar region which Dr. Weiss could not say was caused by the accident.

[20] Dr. Weiss also opined in his report of September 2013 that the plaintiff had lost the physical capacity and functionality to perform heavier forms of work related activity. He stated that it is also likely that the plaintiff will remain compromised in his ability to perform heavy physical work due to persistent back pain, some of which was directly attributable to the accident. Dr. Weiss could not say that the accident had caused any acceleration in degenerative disc disease of the plaintiff’s lower back.

[21] With the exception of the cause of the possible nerve root involvement at L5, Dr. Weiss’ conclusions were not challenged or contradicted and I accept them as accurate. I find that an L4-5 discogenic injury and an aggravation of a previously asymptomatic congenital dysplastic L3-4 facet joint were caused by the motor vehicle accident. Any other injuries or pain complained of by the plaintiff during the material time have not been proved, on a balance of probabilities, to have been caused by the subject accident.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *