Damages in Chronic Pain Trial
In the recent trial decision of Legree v. Origlieri, 2021 ONSC 7650, the plaintiff was rear-ended in stop and go traffic. The police and ambulance were called to the scene.
The plaintiff did not have a significant pre-accident medical history. As a result of the accident, Justice Fowler Byrne found that the plaintiff sustained the following injuries: chronic pain, post-traumatic headaches, injuries of the neck and back, a pinched nerve, post-concussion syndrome, mild anxiety, and a mild adjustment disorder.
Justice Fowler Byrne held that the plaintiff met the threshold. The plaintiff’s chronic pain made her ability to engage in the usual activities of daily living extremely difficult, if not impossible. General damages of $100,000 were awarded, less the statutory deductible of approximately $40,000.
The plaintiff was also awarded future care costs of over $140,000 and just under $2,000 for a loan that she obtained to engage in therapy.
No damages for loss of income was awarded. Following the accident, the plaintiff was able to work as a school bus driver, including at the time of trial. The plaintiff said that, were it not for the accident, she would have worked as a dental assistant. Around three years prior to the accident, she received a diploma in a dental assistant program.
Justice Fowler Byrne held that the plaintiff did not prove, on a balance of probabilities, that she would have worked as a dental assistant but for the accident. Her work history as a dental assistant was sparse. Further, although being a dental assistant was the plaintiff’s preferred career, her work history demonstrated that she would take any type of job in order to help with the family finances.
Therefore, the total damages were slightly over $200,000.