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Pain and suffering for chronic shoulder injury

If I have a chronic shoulder injury, with pain persisting after surgery, how much might a judge award for my pain and suffering?

In yesterday’s case out of the Campbell River registry (Mitchell v. Martin 2016 BCSC 1544) the plaintiff was injured when he was thrown from his motorcycle – suffering bruising and road rash, in addition to shoulder, neck and back injuries.  His injuries were due to a car pulling out and cutting right in front of him. His shoulder required surgery to repair the stability and mobility, but left him with chronic pain.

In awarding $85,000.00 in general damages to account for the fellow’s pain and suffering, Madame Justice Young made the following findings:

[61]         The plaintiff suffered considerable pain and instability of his shoulder while waiting for surgery. This was a time period during which he saw no improvement. After 12 months, he then had to undergo the pain of surgery and a six-month recovery period. The surgery distinguishes this case from many of the defendant’s cases that fall in the lower range.

[62]         The plaintiff is a stoic, motivated individual who enjoyed an excellent recovery because of his rehabilitation efforts so that he has a stable, fully mobile shoulder but he is not without chronic pain. There is no indication that this level three out of 10 pain is going to improve and I expect, given that it has not improved in six years, he will continue to experience it.

[63]         His shoulder pain will affect his productivity at work and in his recreational activities, which impact his enjoyment of life. He does not suffer the level of pain that Ms. Cimino does, however, I take into consideration that award is seven years old and may have been higher in 2016.

[64]         I award $85,000 for non-pecuniary damages.

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