Penticton resident awarded $600K for injuries after being struck by car, thrown to the ground

Pedestrian awarded $600K

A Penticton woman who was struck by a vehicle while walking in a crosswalk has been awarded $600,000 in damages, which is roughly $783,000 less than she was originally seeking.

Billie-Jo Oliver, who was 46 at the time of the crash in 2019, was going to deliver a loaf of home-baked bread to a friend and was crossing at the intersection of Wade Avenue and Ellis Street in Penticton.

Walking across in a marked pedestrian crosswalk, Oliver was suddenly struck by Edith Loewen’s vehicle.

"She was hit on her left side and ended up on the hood of the car. While on the hood, her knees and shins were being hit by the bumper. She managed to hold onto the hood so that she would not fall under the vehicle while it was moving. She was on the hood for about 35 feet. When the car braked, she was thrown to the ground, landing on her right hip," reads a Supreme Court decision published on Sunday.

While the driver admitted liability after the incident, the matter came before the courts as Oliver claimed multiple health issues and was seeking damages for pain and suffering, cost of care and loss of potential future income for a total of $1,385,000.

"She claims that because of the accident she suffers from ongoing headaches, hip, neck, shoulder, and back pain. These injuries continue to impact her life and make many aspects of daily living a challenge," wrote Justice Carla Forth in the decision.

It was noted because of the accident, friends, family and co-workers witnessed changes to her abilities, work, participation in sporting and recreational activities, and overall mood. Oliver said she will have to retire earlier due to chronic pain and fatigue.

While the defendant did not dispute Oliver was injured in the accident and that she is entitled to compensation, they disputed the severity of the symptoms and the scale of their impact on her capacity to work and enjoy life.

They offered that an appropriate award should be in the range of $90,000 to $190,000.

"I accept Ms. Oliver’s evidence on how the accident has changed her life," Forth wrote. "I have every confidence in the reliability of the evidence she provided. She testified in a forthright, honest, and straightforward manner. I noted during the first day of her testimony she was able to sit without much apparent discomfort in the witness box; however, the second day of her testimony, it was clear that she was in a great deal of discomfort."

Forth determined Oliver's claim that she would have obtained some type of promotion but will not be able to obtain one now was true, but did not agree she will have to stop working completely at age 55, as she been able to work full-time for the past five years.

Ultimately, the judge awarded a total of $602,685 to Oliver for non-pecuniary damages, loss of future earning capacity and cost of future care.

More Penticton News