Disabling Impairment Not Causally Related to Accident[et_pb_section bb_built=”1″][et_pb_row][et_pb_column type=”4_4″][et_pb_text _builder_version=”3.9″]
The Ontario Superior Court recently released a decision finding an injured Plaintiff did not meet threshold on the basis that a “disabling” impairment to the left shoulder was not causally related to the accident.
In Grieves v. Parsons, the Plaintiff was injured in a motorcycle accident on July 24, 2012. The Plaintiff sought past and future income loss and general damages for pain and suffering and loss of employment of life. The Defendants had previously admitted liability.
The primary issue was whether the Plaintiff’s impairments were caused by the accident or by other medical conditions that would have developed even if the Plaintiff had not been injured in the accident.
While the jury was deliberating, the Defendants brought a “threshold motion” for a declaration that the Plaintiff’s claim for general damages was barred on the basis that the Plaintiff had failed to establish that, as a result of the accident, he had sustained a permanent, serious impairment of an important physical, mental or psychological function.
After hearing the evidence, the jury awarded $61,000.00 for past income, $90,000.00 for future loss earnings (substantially less than the $738,000.00 to $866,000.00 that was claimed by the Plaintiff) and $50,000.00 for general damages. With respect to the threshold motion, Justice Charney considered the fact that the jury verdict reflected a result much closer to the position advanced by the Defence than to the position of the Plaintiff
Both parties presented expert evidence with respect to causation and threshold. The Plaintiff’s expert testified the Plaintiff’s ongoing symptoms were attributable to the accident and that the Plaintiff had sustained a permanent, serious impairment. However, Justice Charney preferred the evidence of the Defence’s expert that the Plaintiff ongoing symptoms were not related to the index accident.
Ultimately, Justice Charney concluded the Plaintiff did not meet threshold, stating that the evidence supported the Defence’s position that the Plaintiff stopped working in May 2017 because of pain in his left shoulder and that that pain was the result of left shoulder osteoarthritis that first presented itself prior to the index accident.