Plaintiff awarded $95,000 in non-pecuniary damages for Chronic Pain and Depression

Personal Injury Blog

In reasons for judgment released last Friday, the court in Jamal v. Kemery-Higgins, 2017 BCSC 213, awarded the plaintiff $95,000 in non-pecuniary damages for chronic pain disorder, depression disorder and generalized anxiety symptoms.  The plaintiff in Jamal was a 36 year-old mother of two young children who had worked a Registered Massage Therapist and operated a successful Spa and Wellness Centre before the accident, which she was subsequently forced to sell due to her injuries.  In discussing the appropriate amount of non-pecuniary damages, Madam Justice Morellato wrote as follows:

[55]         Ms. Jamal seeks an award of $180,000 for non-pecuniary damages.  Counsel for the defendants submit that Ms. Jamal ought to be awarded non-pecuniary damages of $90,000, subject to the duty to mitigate her loss. 

[59]         …The evidence establishes that Ms. Jamal has suffered both physically and emotionally for a number of years as a result of the accident.  She is not able to work full-time in her chosen vocation, and she has developed a moderately severe chronic pain disorder, a depressive disorder and an anxiety disorder… In addition, Ms. Jamal has not been able to resume the active lifestyle she enjoyed prior to the collision, and she has suffered some cognitive impairment such as memory loss and lack of concentration which she attributes to her “flare-ups” or her chronic pain.  Ms. Jamal’s relationship with her children has also been negatively impacted due to her persistent pain.  In this light, and after reviewing the cases cited by counsel for both parties, I am of the view that the appropriate amount of non-pecuniary damages in this case is $95,000.

The text of the full decision can be found here:  http://www.courts.gov.bc.ca/jdb-txt/sc/17/02/2017BCSC0213.htm

McQuarrie