A B.C. Supreme Court judge has awarded a West Vancouver woman more than $238,000 for injuries suffered when her minivan was rear-ended - even though she continued to run marathons after the accident.
Justice Jennifer Power made the award to Gloria Lee Clark following an earlier six-day trial.
Power granted Clark $238,700 for damages suffered in the accident, including $100,000 for diminished ability to earn income and $85,000 for loss of enjoyment of life.
Power made the decision in the civil suit, despite evidence that Clark did not take any significant time off work and ran five marathons - including making a personal best time of under four hours in the Boston Marathon - after the accident.
A defence lawyer for the other driver had argued Clark only suffered minor whiplash in the rear-ender and made up her injury for financial gain. But the judge didn't agree.
While acknowledging it was unusual to suffer chronic pain and continue with a rigorous athletic training schedule, Power agreed with a sports medicine specialist who said Clark was able to keep running because she was a "survivor" and that her ability to run "multiple marathons while at the same time suffering chronic pain, is not necessarily inconsistent."
According to court documents, the accident happened on June 8, 2006 when Clark, driving an Oldsmobile minivan, was rear-ended by Marek Kouba in a Volkswagen when both drivers were exiting Highway 1 on to Westview Drive. The accident caused only minor damage to her vehicle.
According to court documents, prior to the accident, Clark was an athletic person who ran, skied, hiked, bicycled and kayaked in addition to caring for her children and working part-time for Transport Canada. Clark continued several athletic pursuits after the accident including hiking the Grouse Grind and running marathons.
Despite that, the judge accepted that "this accident has had a real impact on her life" including neck, upper back and shoulder pain that has resulted in difficulty sleeping and performing household chores. The $238,000 award included more than $38,000 for the cost of future care including $28,000 for yoga sessions.
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