A Shuswap man who suffered devastating injuries after driving his dirt bike into a metal chain strung across a rural road near Sicamous has been awarded more than $1 million in damages.
In a BC Supreme Court decision dated May 13, 2022, Justice Frits Verhoeven said, had Cody Jackson, then 26, been sitting down when he struck the chain, “the accident could have been fatal.”
As it was, he suffered major injuries in the May 2018 crash, including a shattered pelvis, both arms broken, a cracked eye socket, nerve damage to his right leg and a concussion.
“The chain was a heavy metal link chain, grey in colour, which would have been all but invisible to the plaintiff,” the judge said.
According to the court document, Jackson was riding near his parents’ rural property in Mara, south of Sicamous, on an unpaved road on land occupied and owned by Adam Lindsay. The judge said Lindsay did not attend the trial, did not provide requested documents nor comply with court orders, so the judgment went to Jackson.
Jackson grew up in Mara, graduated from high school in Enderby and was living in Chase with his longtime girlfriend. When the accident occurred he was working on the West Coast as a crane operator for Fraser River Pile & Dredge Inc.
The accident happened on his first day off work from the company. He was visiting his parents when he went for the dirt bike ride.
After several surgeries and a long period of rehabilitation, he began to work again but was unable to return to his previous job, which was his preference.
His living relationship with his girlfriend ended, due, probably wholly, to the injuries and their consequences, the judge said. The accident affected his personality and his outlook on life.
Previously fit, strong and healthy, Jackson is no longer able to do many of the activities he enjoyed, such as dirt-biking, hunting, hiking, skiing and skating. He can no longer do home renovation work without help.
While Jackson now has a well-paid job as a crane foreman, Justice Verhoeven noted in his judgment the injuries may affect his future earning capacity.
“Mr. Jackson has endured and continues to endure a very great amount of pain and suffering. The accident itself was horrific. He was hospitalized for more than two months. He then went through a long period of rehabilitation. There is a high probability of future treatments and surgical procedures being necessary.
“Mr. Jackson is stoic by nature. I accept plaintiff’s counsel’s submission that he has carried on with his life and his responsibilities through sheer grit, perseverance, stubbornness, and necessity. His primary method of managing his symptoms has been activity modification and avoidance. He faces a lifetime of chronic pain and physical limitations that will likely increase over time…”
Jackson was awarded $1.35 million in damages.
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