29 Apr Hard-Working Immigrant Injured in Motor Vehicle Accident
In the recent case of Manoharan v. Kaur, 2016 BCSC 692, the Plaintiff, a 47 year old immigrant from India was injured in a motor vehicle accident. At the time of the accident, the Plaintiff was working at an accounting firm. She was also studying to become a certified general accountant and only needed to complete four more courses to obtain her certification.
As a result of the accident the Plaintiff suffered from vertigo, depression, anxiety, chronic pain and sleep disturbance. Due to these injuries the Plaintiff was no longer able to continue with her accountancy studies, nor work full time. She left her accounting job to pursue part time work as an office manager.
In his judgement, Mr. Justice Affleck noted that the Plaintiff “has an intense work ethic”. If she hadn’t been in the accident, she would likely have become a CGA and worked well into her late 60’s before retiring.
In addition to awards for pain and suffering and a loss of earning capacity, the Plaintiff received a substantial award for her future care needs, including almost an award of $200,000 to compensate her for all the medication she would be required to take throughout her lifetime.
The Plaintiff received the following judgement:
|Non-pecuniary general damages||$170,000|
|Past loss of earning capacity||$105,000|
|Loss of future earning capacity||$400,000|
|Present value of future care costs||$234,570|
(past and future)
At trial, ICBC argued that the award of damages should be reduced by 20%, alleging that if the Plaintiff had undertaken an exercise program it would have improved her physical capacities and mood. Mr. Justice Affleck rejected this argument stating that the Plaintiff had endured 6 years of partially disabling pain and depression. If she had pushed herself to exercise she might have made gains in some areas of her life but may have exhausted the energy needed to carry on with her employment and managing a home.