January 11, 2008 by Canadian Underwriter
An Ontario Superior Court justice has slashed a plaintiff’s claim for Cdn$4 million in damages and lost wages related to an accident at an Ottawa Home Depot down to Cdn$518,132.
“It is clear that the plaintiff was injured in the accident at Home Depot and that the injury sustained by her caused a lot of inconvenience and suffering,” Ontario Superior Court Justice Bernard Manton wrote for the court. “[H]owever, I do not believe that she will be unable to work in the future.”
Saying the plaintiff’s symptoms would cause her a loss of competitive advantage, the judge awarded her Cdn$518,132.25.
In St.Prix-Alexander v. Home Depot of Canada Inc., the plaintiff, Deanna St.Prix-Alexander, now 42, was in an aisle looking at a display of toilets in November 1999 when a Home Depot employee behind her struck her with a box containing a pedestal sink.
The blow hit her in the neck and shoulder area. St.-Prix-Alexander subsequently saw several doctors and specialists about chronic headaches, neck pain and tingling sensations.
Her chronic pain precipitated neurological surgery in 2003 and several follow-up visits into 2006.
The court’s 17-page decision outlines a great deal of conflicting medical opinion as to whether the accident at Home Depot directly contributed to St.-Prix Alexander’s subsequent symptoms.
She started collecting disability in June 2000. After her surgery in 2003, she then worked on a full-time or part-time basis until 2006, when she started collecting long-term disability again.