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Canadian Teacher Awarded Nearly $1 Million in Back Injury Compensation Claim

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Coquitlam, BCA Canadian woman who suffered back and neck injuries in a car accident was awarded CDN $1 million after a judge decided that her injuries impeded her ability to earn a living. While Stella Kasidoulis was initially treated for soft tissue injury immediately following the accident, the part-time school teacher continues to be plagued with chronic pain in her back, neck and shoulders.

According to the Canwest News Service and the Province, Kasidoulis was riding with her husband in the passenger seat of their Honda Civic in December 2005 when their car was hit by another vehicle making a left-hand turn in an intersection. The other driver admitted fault.

The Civic sustained significant damage in the collision—CDN $10,000—and Stella Kasidoulis, a teacher and a mother of one, was treated for soft tissue damage. At the time Kasidoulis was also pregnant with her second child, to whom she gave birth successfully in April 2006.

The pain in her neck and shoulders and the severe headaches abated over time, but the back pain remained—to the point where Kasidoulis was no longer able to continue or further her career as a full-time teacher.

Justice Robert Sewell of the BC Supreme Court noted that Kasidoulis' intent was to be a full-time teacher in the Coquitlam school system, but that the chronic injuries sustained in the car accident prevented her from doing so.

"I have no hesitation in finding that but for the accident, she would have achieved that goal," Justice Sewell said in his decision. "I am also satisfied that as a result of the injuries suffered in the motor-vehicle accident it is unlikely that Ms. Kasidoulis will be able to obtain a permanent teaching position.

"In particular, [the plaintiff] continues to report that standing or sitting in the same place over a prolonged period causes her extreme discomfort and that she is unable to work consistently as a teacher."

Kasidoulis was awarded CDN $550,000 for impaired earning capacity, $250,000 for future care, $90,000 for general damages, $80,000 for past wage loss and $16,825 for special damages totaling, overall $986,825. There was no word as to the potential for an appeal.

Kasidoulis, who now has three children, currently works as a substitute teacher in Coquitlam, a city in the westernmost Canadian province of British Columbia. While her goal was to become a full-time teacher, her back and neck injuries are such that she can only work part-time.

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