A Vancouver police constable who considered himself one of the fittest officers in the department until he was injured in a hit-and-run accident while on duty in 2007 should receive more than $100,000 in damages, a B.C. Supreme Court judge has ruled.
In a written decision released Jan. 6, Madam Justice Victoria Gray concluded that Const. Mike Loeppky is entitled to $100,252.96 from the Insurance Corporation of B.C. for injuries, treatment costs and lost income related to the accident in Burnaby.
As a result of the accident, Mr. Loeppky is less capable of earning overtime from the VPD, Gray wrote of the Dec. 23, 2007 collision. He is less marketable and more limited in the work he can pursue. He is less able to take advantage of job opportunities and less valuable to himself as someone earning income in a competitive market.
Loeppky, 36, sued ICBC after the marked police car in which he was a front seat passenger was struck in the rear by a van while stopped at the intersection of Lougheed Highway and Madison Avenue at 2:30 a.m.
The impact of the collision sent the police car spinning into the intersection. The van also struck another car and pushed it into a pillar. The police car had to be towed from the scene.
The driver of the van fled and police were unable to locate the van or driver, according to Grays written decision. Loeppky claimed damages for injuries to his jaw, neck, mid and upper back and thigh. He also claimed damages for headaches in the days following the collision.
Loeppky has fully recovered from all his injuries except for those he suffered to his back. He continues to experience flare-ups every week or so, according to Grays decision.
Since the accident, he has been able to return to a high level of activity but with some adjustments to his routines and some limitations on what he can do, particularly in the area of weightlifting, Gray wrote. Chores around the house also take him longer than before the accident. Nevertheless, he has been able to try out activities like judo and add boxing-type exercises to his regular routine.
Prior to the accident, Loeppky worked out up to two-and-a-half hours at a time, four to five times per week. His workouts consisted of lifting weights and he ran five to six miles on a treadmill up to three times a week.
Mr. Loeppky believes he was one of the most fit constables in the VPD before the collision, Gray wrote.
Loeppky is a nine-year veteran of the VPD and joined to become a patrol officer. The accident and his resulting injuries were the major factor in his transfer to the departments general investigations unit, Gray wrote.
Loeppky finds the work in the unit to be less exciting than as a patrol officer. However, the work is better for his back because it is sedentary and allows him to take breaks, Gray added.
Grays decision doesnt indicate whether Loeppkys partner was injured in the collision.