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B.C. man awarded more than $1M after hitting steel chain strung across dirt road

In his decision, the judge said Cody Jackson has suffered "profound, life-altering negative consequences to his physical and mental health" as a result of the accident.
dirt bike
Cody Jackson suffered numerous injuries, including a shattered pelvis, a cracked eye socket and broken arms.

A Shuswap man has been awarded more than $1 million after being 'clotheslined' by a metal chain while riding his dirt bike.

Cody Jackson was almost killed when he rode into a chain that had been strung across a dirt road on his neighbour's large rural property.

In a recent decision, a B.C. Supreme Court judge awarded Jackson $1.3 million for the incident that happened on private property near his parent's home in Mara, and left him with permanent, life-altering injuries.

Jackson shattered his pelvis, cracked an eye socket, broke both his arms and received nerve damage to his right leg.

He also suffered a concussion and spent two months in hospital, followed by a long period of rehabilitation.

"The chain was a heavy metal link chain, grey in colour, which would have been all but invisible to the plaintiff," Justice Frits Verhoeven wrote in his decision.

"Fortunately, when he struck the chain, he was upright, standing on the motorcycle. Had he been seated, the accident could have been fatal.”

Jackson took legal action against the property owner, Adam Lindsay, who did not attend the trial.

In his published decision, Verhoeven wrote that Jackson was riding the “motorcycle on an unpaved road on property occupied and beneficially owned by Mr. Lindsay. Mr. Lindsay became the registered owner” a few days after the accident on May 16, 2018.

“When the accident happened, Mr. Jackson was 26 years of age and in exceptionally good health,” Verhoeven said.

“Mr. Jackson has suffered profound, life-altering negative consequences to his physical and mental health, and his enjoyment of life, as a result of the accident injuries. Previously he was fit, strong, and healthy. He was independent. He enjoyed life and had an optimistic outlook. He was in a long-term relationship with good future prospects. His work and career were proceeding very well. He enjoyed vigorous and energetic outdoor and recreational activities.

“He now has chronic pain. He relies on painkillers (Advil), which he uses frequently. His injuries to his hips, arms, right leg, ankle and wrists are permanent. He faces a potential for progression of the post-traumatic osteoarthritic changes in both of his hips, and it is likely that he will require future treatment, which could be injections or hip replacement surgeries.”

Verhoeven noted after the accident, Jackson separated from his long-time girlfriend and his parents said he has changed since the incident.

"His personality has changed. He was formerly happy and optimistic, and sociable, although somewhat shy," Verhoeven said. "He is now unhappy, withdrawn, and unable or unwilling to engage in social activities to anything like the former extent."

The incident also had a profound effect on Jackson's job as a crane operator.

Lindsay was also ordered to pay the provincial government more than $170,000 under B.C.'s Health Care Costs Recovery Act.

The full decision can be found online.