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B.C. woman awarded $2.5M in accident claims

Jane Valcourt was injured in car accidents in Abbotsford and Langley.
New Westminster, B.C. Law Courts. The judge said her most significant complaint is of chronic and debilitating headaches, and associated dizziness and fatigue.

A B.C. Supreme Court judge has awarded more than $2.5 million in damages to a woman injured in two car accidents.

Jane Annette Valcourt was injured on Nov. 11, 2017 at the intersection of Clearbrook and Peardonville roads in Abbotsford; on Feb.1, 2019, she was injured in the 6800-block of Glover Road in Langley.

She filed suit against Rubina Tariq and Qazi Uzaif Tariq in the first incident and Parnam Singh Jagdev in the second.

In his May 14 decision handed down in New Westminster, Justice Frits Verhoeven said the first accident was relatively minor, and on its own, would not have had major consequences for Valcourt.

He said Valcourt’s Toyota Camry was travelling southbound on Clearbrook Road to turn left onto Peardonville Road. The Tariq Nissan turned into the path of Toyota, causing the collision.

The damage to Valcourt’s Toyota was estimated at $2,786, and the damage to the Nissan was estimated at $3,856.

In the second case, Valcourt was in the process of stopping for a traffic light at 216th Street in Langley. She had almost completely stopped her vehicle when it was rear-ended by Jagdev’s vehicle.

The force of the collision was such that her Toyota was propelled into the vehicle in front of it. Her Toyota was rendered a total loss and the damage to the defendants’ Dodge Charger was estimated at $18,244.

Valcourt, a 43-year-old mother of two, asserted the second incident resulted in permanent injuries that will prevent her from returning to work as a registered nurse or in any other capacity and it will have lifelong effects on her quality of life.

The judge said her most significant complaint is of chronic and debilitating headaches, and associated dizziness and fatigue.

“She also suffers from significant cognitive difficulties, associated with her headaches and body pain,” he said. “She continues to suffer from neck, right shoulder, and upper back pain. She also complains of injury to her lower back and right knee, mood consequences, nausea, noise and light sensitivity, and poor sleep.”

Verhoeven said the medical and expert opinion evidence at trial was largely consistent.

“There is no doubt that the plaintiff has suffered the injuries that she complains of, and that her injuries have had severe detrimental effects on the plaintiff’s ability to function, including her ability to work, her domestic abilities, her activities of daily living, her leisure activities, and her personal relationships,” Verhoeven said.

The judge said the defendants conceded Valcourt was injured in the accidents and that substantial damage awards were appropriate.

The court award breaks down as follows:

• past loss of earning capacity - $325,000;

• loss of future earning capacity - $1.76 million;

• non-pecuniary damages - $200,000;

• loss of housekeeping capacity - $25,000;

• in-trust amount - $5,000;

• loss of extended health benefits - $52,846;

• cost of future care - $105,854; and,

• special damages - $79,217.

“The parties have agreed to special damages in the amount of $79,217.24, as a consequence of both of the accidents,” Verhoeven said. 

”The agreed schedule of special damages relates to such expenses as medication, physiotherapy, massage therapy, chiropractic therapy, occupational therapy, mileage (including mileage for 826 attendances for treatment), housekeeping services, and $15,000 for extended health premiums the plaintiff has paid in lieu of payment that otherwise would have been paid by her employer, Fraser Health.”