Sharlene Gustafson of Abbotsford suffered main accidents following a farm automobile accident in July 2019. “The results have been horrible,” the choose mentioned in his ruling.
B.C. Supreme Courtroom has awarded an Abbotsford girl $5.37 million in damages after a July 2019 farm automobile accident left her with a number of accidents and unable to make use of her legs.
The court docket heard Sharlene Gustafson was residing with accomplice Donald Blanes and others in a century-old farmhouse owned by Doreen MacFarlane, who lived on one other a part of the property.
On the day in query, Gustafson, Blanes and his son Ryan have been trimming a big holly bush. As soon as the trimming was full, MacFarlane arrived in a Gator, a small four-wheeled, off-road farm utility automobile.
She started to assist with cleanup and took a great deal of trimming particles to the burning pile.
“Ms. MacFarlane’s foot unintentionally slipped from the brake to the gasoline pedal,” Justice Geoffrey Gomery mentioned in his Oct. 26 resolution.
Earlier than she was struck, Gustafson, then 57, was behind the Gator, making ready to load the remaining particles right into a bin on the again.
“Out of the blue, she [MacFarlane] drove the Gator backwards into Ms. Gustafson, pushing her alongside the bottom for a distance, then operating her over with each rear and entrance wheels whereas travelling down a slope,” Gomery mentioned.
Gustafson suffered damaged bones in her neck, ribs, sternum and pelvis. She suffered a spinal cord injury, liver laceration and a collapsed lung.
She couldn’t really feel her legs, state court docket paperwork. She misplaced consciousness and went into cardiac arrest. Blanes carried out CPR till emergency responders arrived.
“MacFarlane did not train cheap care by failing to take care of what she was doing together with her toes, inflicting the Gator to abruptly speed up backwards,” Gomery mentioned.
“The results have been horrible for Ms. Gustafson,” the choose mentioned in his ruling, noting she has misplaced the usage of her legs. She has partial use of her arms and arms and is ready to function a powered wheelchair.
The choose mentioned MacFarlane requires ongoing remedy to keep up the usage of her arms and has some sensation in her decrease physique and experiences ache and cramping. She requires help and particular tools to maneuver between her mattress and her wheelchair in the beginning and finish of the day.
“Mr. Blanes has supplied Ms. Gustafson with nearly all of the round the clock care she requires at residence,” Gomery mentioned. “This has been demanding and he’s bodily and emotionally exhausted. It’s an association that can’t be sustained for for much longer.”
Gomery mentioned the couple continues to reside on the farmhouse however it’s not appropriate for them.
“As well as, it’s awkward and uncomfortable that Ms. MacFarlane stays their neighbour and landlady,” Gomery mentioned.
Gustafson sought an award of about $8.2 million and MacFarlane mentioned her damages are lower than half that.
Damaged down, the award is $4.44 million for the price of future care, aside from accommodative housing; $435,000 usually damages; $89,670.36 in particular damages; $315,000 as an in-trust award in respect of the care and providers supplied to Gustafson by Blanes; $47,000 for lack of previous incomes capability; and $43,000 for lack of future incomes capability.