Legal Blog

28 Feb 2014

The Six Million Dollar Concussion: when seemingly innocuous events have tragic consequences

by Admin

Wallman v John Doe 2014 BCSC 79

The Plaintiff, a 53 year old emergency room physician and real estate investor, was rear-ended by a bus, causing very little damage to either vehicle. Following the accident, the Plaintiff exchanged information with the bus driver and continued on to work.  Later that morning he felt confused and unwell.  He was diagnosed with a concussion, and taken off work. 

The Plaintiff continued to experience symptoms in the months and years following the accident.  He made several attempts to return to work, first as a surgical assistant, and later in a walk-in clinic, however, he had lost his ability to multi-task or concentrate, and found himself making mistakes in the simplest of procedures.  At the time of the trial, seven years later, the Plaintiff continued to suffer from memory loss, headaches, and sensitivity to noise and light.  Although the Plaintiff was, at the time of trial, able to better manage his symptoms, his anxiety and irritability left him unable to function for an entire day without rest.

Prior to the accident, the Plaintiff was a high-functioning physician, father, athlete, and husband. Following the accident all areas of his life were affected. He was unable to pursue his career as a physician or his real estate endeavours, and became irritable and unkind to the point where his wife considered ending their thirty year marriage.  Taking into consideration the loss suffered by the Plaintiff, and the enormous impact the accident had on his life, general damages were awarded in the amount of $200,000.

The Court also awarded over 1.4 million in past loss of income, and over 4 million in loss of future earning capacity.

Read the full case here.