Collision victim awarded $268K in damages
Justice says victim must accept some responsibility for his pain disorder
An accident victim has been awarded more than $268,000 in damages for a traffic accident that occured in May 2006.
But the judge also said the victim exaggerated his claims and has failed to do enough to recover from his injuries.
Ron Hollett's car was hit from behind by a pickup truck driven by William Yeager. Hollett's vehicle was totalled and he suffered personal injury.
Yeager has admitted he was responsible for the accident. But he's disputed Hollett's claims for damages.
Hollett was working at the Granite Springs golf course at the time of the accident. He says he's been unable to work since then.
Before the accident, Hollett earned some money teaching golf. A medical assessment was done after the accident and provided to the court. The judge wrote "It indicates he does not exercise regularly, smokes 20 cigarettes a day and has no leisure activity or hobbies."
In awarding damages, Justice Kevin Coady wrote "I have concluded that Mr. Hollett must accept some responsibility for his pain disorder. I am satisfied that if he had seriously endorsed programs of physiotherapy, exercise and psychological counselling he would not be in his present predicament."
Coady also noted "I am not suggesting that he is a malingerer. I am suggesting that a mindset has developed and all of his decisions are based on that mindset. I find it ironic that while he fears pain, he allows it to take over his life."
Coady did not accept that Hollett will never work again, even though he has not worked since the accident.
In calculating the damages Hollett could claim from the accident, Coady reduced the amount by 20 per cent reflecting the fact that Hollett has not worked hard enough at his recovery.
"I found his overall demeanour to be extremely exaggerated," Coady wrote. "I found he was defensive to any suggestion that recovery and employment was possible. I am satisfied that if Mr. Hollett put consistent efforts into a recovery program he will improve."