Rhodes v. Biggar,2010 BCSC 762
June 6, 2011- This case has only been referred to once and has not to date been overturned. The central issue in this personal injury case was to assess the extent and effect of the injury claimant’s injuries caused by the car accident. The claimant had an extensive pre-existing medical history relating to a serious crush injury and repair surgery to her left hand. Associated with this injury are neck, shoulder and back problems resulting from the necessity for her to change the positions in which she performs her work as a dental hygienist since she could no longer hold the mirror with which she works in her left hand.
The role that damages plays is to place the injury claimant, as much as possible, in her original position. It is not the obligation of ICBC to put the claimant in a better condition than she was in before the car accident injury. In this case the Court found the claimant’s difficulties were accelerated and aggravated by the car accident but would likely have interfered with her work and her lifestyle regardless of the accident injuries.
As a result, although the injuries the claimant suffered in the car accident are not the sole cause of her current condition, she did incur soft tissue injuries which continue to cause her suffering and which are somewhat disabling but which are connected with the pre-existing condition inherent in her original position. Her total award was $144,984.08. Posted By Personal Injury Lawyer Mr. Renn A. Holness
Issue: Should courts reduce compensation to injury victims when they suffer a progressive pre-existing condition?