Clark v. Kouba, 2012 BCSC 1607
The Court of Appeal unanimously dismisses ICBC’s appeal, cementing in British Columbia case law long-term yoga care as a reasonable treatment modality for chronic pain.
Jon Harbut and John Rice were trial counsel for Gloria Clark, a working mother of two and avid marathon runner. The Plaintiff was rear-ended in a car crash on June 8, 2006. ICBC defended the claim. Ms. Clark alleged she suffered neck and back injuries that impacted all aspects of her life.
ICBC lawyers denied that the Plaintiff was seriously injured and alleged she was intentionally exaggerating her claim.
The trial judge rejected ICBC’s theory of the case and awarded the Plaintiff damages for pain and suffering, diminished income earning capacity, out of pocket expenses and future care treatments, including damages for long-term yoga care which the Plaintiff found of great benefit to managing her chronic pain.
ICBC appealed the trial judge’s awards for loss of future earnings and her cost of care for yoga and until her life expectancy. The Court of Appeal unanimously dismissed ICBC’s appeal, cementing in British Columbia case law long-term yoga care as a reasonable treatment modality for chronic pain and recognizing in the context of lost future earnings, chronic pain can have a real and substantial impact on someone’s income earning capacity. ICBC’s appeal tactic back-fired and now injured British Columbians have a strongly worded Court of Appeal judgment for future cases.