The value of pain and suffering in a chronic pain case
Reasons for judgment were released yesterday in the case of Ali v. Padam. This case involved Ms. Ali’s claim for damages following her injury in a car accident that had occurred almost 6 years prior to the trial. At the time of the accident Ms. Ali was 37 years old. ICBC admitted that Ms. Ali was not at fault for the accident and the trial was merely to assess the damages that she was entitled to as a result of the injuries that she suffered.
ICBC conceded that Ms. Ali suffered from chronic pain as a result of the accident, but disputed whether there were other contributing factors that have caused her symptoms since the accident. ICBC took the position that the accident only played a small role in the significant difficulties that Ms. Ali was having at the time of trial.
The trial judge disagreed with ICBC, concluding that as a result of the accident Ms. Ali has chronic pain, post traumatic stress disorder and major depressive disorder that combine in a debilitating fashion and have severely affected all aspects of her life. All experts who testified at trial agreed that Ms. Ali’s prognosis for substantial recovery was poor. In the circumstances, the trial judge awarded $180,000 as compensation for the pain and suffering that Ms. Ali experienced as a result of the accident.