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  1. #11

    Join Date
    Mar 2008

    Student of Chrfis Gerlitz & the MAFC

    I am a MMA enthusiast with varied training from many schools of discipline including Jujustu, Kyokoshin Karate, Aikido, and more. While in Calgary, I trained under Christopher Gerlitz and his dedicated and well trained team at the MAFC. I found Mo Woye Fat to be an exceptional form of modernized, practical, kung fu. The truth is that Chris is the first to teach Mo Woye Fat in north america and is it's true founder. Much like Jeet Kune Do, he has combined several of the most practical forms of gung/kung fu to formulate some wonderful dynamics in true combat training. Chris is complimented by several honorable instructors who have come to north america to assist in the establishment of Mo Woye Fat. All inclusively the traditions of the martial arts are maintained and focused on with precision and clarity. If you are considering this group as a training option for gung/kung fu I highly recommend it! I am not in the Calgary area now, but when I do again, you will most certainly find me offering my respectful bow to this facility and it's great teachers. But most importantly, heed the words of Basho... "Do not seek to follow in the footsteps of men of old; seek what they sought." ( [email protected] )

  2. #12

    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    BJJ, Ju-Jitsu
    Thread necromacy is a crime. You shall be punished.

    Lets start with the simple errors in your post: Just mixing martial arts is not MMA.
    "Sifu, I"m niether - I'm a fire dragon so don't **** with me!"

  3. #13

    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Kung Fu
    Ok...personal not go to that club. While I did enjoy training there and most of the other instructors were awesome it wasn't enough to make up for the fact that there is no recorded proof of any of his claims. Multiple black belts? He's gone from 3 to 7 in the last few years while never actually training or going anywhere. Tournaments around the world? Either he had a different name or sat in the stands. Add that to the fact that he's been accused several times of credit card fraud and drug use and you get a shady situation. But like I said, the instructors were excellent...but last I heard most of them had quit. One friend I talk to via e-mail said he quit when all the other instructors had left and Christopher was either late to teach class or didn't show up at all. My friend showed up to do his own thing and saw a class being taught by a white belt with three months experience.

    There are better and cheaper places. Buyer beware.

  4. #14
    Last edited by Noneofyours; 11/04/2008 7:33pm at .

  5. #15
    cyrijl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Boston, MA
    BJJ, MT, Yoga
    What an insightful first post.
    There is no cheating, there is only jiu-jitsu.

  6. #16
    I'm to the point. Thanks.

  7. #17

    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Lynnwood, WA
    running scared
    Quote Originally Posted by Noneofyours
    The man is a fraud on all levels.
    You resurrected a twice dead thread to post that without any documentation? Get out of here or learn how this board works. Learn the rules and the culture before posting anymore.

  8. #18

    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Here's the court case where Mr. Gerlitz sued for his back injury.

    Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta

    Citation: Gerlitz v. Lee, 2007 ABQB 495

    Date: 20070725
    Docket: 0301 10733
    Registry: Calgary


    Christopher Gerlitz

    - and -

    Tsai Hou Lee and Chi Ying Lee


    __________________________________________________ _____

    Reasons for Judgment
    of the
    Honourable Madam Justice S.M. Bensler
    __________________________________________________ _____

    [1] On August 10, 2001, while in his car and stopped at the intersection of 5th Street and 11th Avenue S.W., Calgary, the Plaintiff, Christopher Gerlitz, was struck from behind by a vehicle driven by the Defendant Tsai Hou Lee. At the time of the impact, Mr. Gerlitz says that he was bent over, reaching for something on the floor of the passenger side of his car. Fault for the motor vehicle accident of August 10, 2001 is not in issue. The issues at trial were the causation of the damages alleged by the Mr. Gerlitz, and the scope of those damages.

    I. Lay Witnesses

    1. Christopher Gerlitz

    [2] Christopher Gerlitz was born in 1966, in Calgary. He first started training in martial arts at the age of 12 and appears to have become very dedicated to the discipline very early on. He started attending tournaments at the age of 15, competing in soft and hard contact tournaments in Vancouver and Toronto. He studied a number of different disciplines and as he grew older fought in increasingly demanding and tough competitions, including an underground fighting circuit in Calgary that featured hard contact and no padding. He moved to Vancouver to study physical education at the University of British Columbia and continued to compete on the underground fighting circuit in that city. He travelled to Hong Kong and to Japan during the summers to continue to train and learn martial arts there, eventually leaving UBC before completing his degree to spend more time in China. Training and fighting became his lifestyle.

    [3] In 1994 or 1995, Mr. Gerlitz returned to Calgary and decided to teach martial arts here. Over the years of fighting in Vancouver and in Japan and China he had sustained a number of injuries, which he said resulted in some minor pains and aches, but nevertheless, he felt that upon his return he was in the best physical condition of his life.

    [4] In 1995, Mr. Gerlitz opened a martial arts centre in downtown Calgary. He began by teaching Chinese Kung Fu. His long term goal was to branch out into a competitive contact fighting business. He felt it would take about five years before the business would be earning a profit. The business moved to the beltline area of Calgary in 1997, opening there as Martial Arts Fitness Centres. Martial Arts Fitness Centres was run by Martial Arts Fitness Corporation (MAFC), of which Mr. Gerlitz was the sole shareholder. When it opened in 1997, Mr. Gerlitz was also the sole instructor. All revenues were derived from the sale of memberships in the club. By 1997, Mr. Gerlitz said that he was essentially breaking even. By 1998, when Mr. Gerlitz had the opportunity to take over the lease for the building adjacent to his facility, business was good enough that he felt he could proceed with expansion. Taking over the neighbouring building, Mr. Gerlitz undertook to do the necessary renovations himself. He added kickboxing to the martial arts he was already teaching, and membership numbers increased.

    [5] In 2000, Mr. Gerlitz realized that one way to retain his memberships over the long term would be to develop his own weight training facility. He testified that, at this time, he also decided that he wanted to expand his business in the area of injury rehabilitation. He drew up business plans for the expansion of MAFC and, he testified, for a new business, called the Injury Institute. In 2001 he began negotiating with his landlord with respect to more space adjacent to his existing facilities. He had blueprints for his expansion drawn up. On the day of the accident, Mr. Gerlitz had just entered into an agreement with his landlord to lease the additional space.

    [6] At the time of the accident, MAFC was offering a number of different programs, including kickboxing, boxing, adult and kids kung fu, kendo, capoeira (a Brazilian fighting technique), and Grappling/Ju Jitsu. Mr. Gerlitz was teaching all of the classes, with the exception of boxing.

    [7] Mr. Gerlitz described the accident of August 10, 2001. He was on his way back to his office, stopped at a red light on 11th Avenue S.W., where it intersects with 5th Street. He was bent over to retrieve some papers that had slid forward off the passenger seat. It was while he was bent forwards, twisted sideways, stretching to retrieve the papers when his vehicle was struck from behind. He said that the impact caused him to roll to the back, hitting the passenger seat, then snap back forward. He was stunned and dazed, and he felt pain immediately in his back. Mr. Lee, who was driving the vehicle that struck him, came to his window and knocked. Mr. Gerlitz had to take some time to compose himself. He also got out of the car and inspected the distance between his vehicle and that of Mr. Lee immediately following the impact and estimated it to be about three feet. Mr. Gerlitz exchanged insurance information with Mr. Lee before driving the rest of the way to his office.

    [8] As the day proceeded, Mr. Gerlitz had increasing pain and stiffness. By the time he decided to see a physician, walk-in clinics were closed, so he went to the Foothills Hospital. When he finally saw a doctor there, he was advised to see his family doctor and told to take ibuprofen. He was not given a prescription, though by that time he describes his pain as very serious, and everywhere. He went to a walk-in clinic on Monday, August 13, 2001 and also saw a chiropractor that day. In the weeks and months that followed the accident he saw Dr. Schiffman at the walk-in clinic and took massage therapy and chiropractic treatments. He was still going to work, but his senior students were running his classes because he was unable to do so.

    [9] By the end of 2001 and early into 2002, Mr. Gerlitz said, it became apparent to him that he would not be able to resume teaching classes at his former capacity. His evidence was that he got rid of the classes that he could no longer teach and kept the classes he could, or could have other people do for the short term. People started to leave his classes, and he was no longer teaching fighting. Mr. Gerlitz said he was trying to get better by doing everything that was recommended to him by his treatment providers and by doing his own exercises. He was seeing Dr. Schiffman, a family doctor, Dr. Parekh, a specialist in internal medicine, Dr. Hankins, a chiropractor, and taking massage therapy. He said that nothing was working at that time, and he was getting frustrated because he was suffering constant flare-ups.

    [10] In early 2002 Mr. Gerlitz hired an employee to help him run the day to day operations of MAFC because he felt that he could not do it. He kept trying to become more active, with exercise and light punching, but would suffer painful flare-ups. He testified that he had to put $9000 of his own money into the business because it was not making money. He rented out parts of his facility to other martial arts clubs.

    [11] Around March, 2002, Mr. Gerlitz testified, his situation had become desperate enough that he became suicidal. At this point, he resolved to make better efforts regarding his recovery. Shortly thereafter, he was sent for an independent medical examination with Dr. McDougall and a functional capacity assessment with Heather Sackschewsky. Mr. Gerlitz says that he gained increased confidence from his discussion with Dr. McDougall.

    [12] By the fall of 2002, Mr. Gerlitz said, his attendance at MAFC was up. He hired other people to begin to do some of the planned renovations. The number of memberships rose into early 2003 because, according to Mr. Gerlitz, he had begun marketing towards the “recreational individual.” In early 2003, Ms. Sackschewsky, who had conducted the functional capacity assessment in early 2002, had come to work for MAFC and was now its fitness coordinator. She implemented changes to the structure of the memberships offered by MAFC. By the end of 2003, the new weight training area was functional. Mr. Gerlitz was more active in MAFC but he said that he was not teaching.

    [13] Also in 2003, Mr. Gerlitz, with the assistance of Ms. Sackschewsky, began to proceed with his plans for the Injury Institute. He held an open house for the purpose of marketing in mid-2003, but he never proceeded fully with the plans set out in his earlier business plan. The Injury Institute proceeded with functional capacity assessments and employment testing, though not with independent medical examinations, as well as some progressive treatment. The Injury Institute was able to offer some chiropractic treatment, but no physiotherapy or massage therapy.

    [14] Mr. Gerlitz felt that he had reached a plateau in 2004. With the help of Ms. Sackschewsky, and other support, he was more physically capable. He said that he became more active in managing MAFC and was more present at the club. Membership numbers started to rise, along with revenues. In 2004 and 2005, MAFC began to offer a number of new classes, including meditation and yoga.

    [15] Mr. Gerlitz said that, now that MAFC was on sounder footing, he intended to proceed with the completion of his plans for the Injury Institute. At present, he is teaching some classes, but he feels that he cannot instruct some of the more demanding martial arts anymore. He does not teach hard contact fight classes anymore. He is physically active but not to the same extent as prior to the accident. He testified that he continues to suffer from lower back pain, constantly.

    2. Paul Walker

    [16] Mr. Walker was a student at MAFC both before and after the accident, and presently teaches martial arts there. He testified that a number of students left after the accident because Mr. Gerlitz was no longer teaching their classes. Though senior belt students took over as much as they could, and though Mr. Gerlitz had hired another instructor to teach some of the classes, there was frustration from students. On the whole, he said, MAFC classes since the accident were more passive and less competitive, though he testified that there are more students at MAFC now than there were before the accident.

    [17] Mr. Walker said that at the beginning of 2001, Mr. Gerlitz told him there would be an expansion, to be completed by the Fall of 2001. He testified that the accident slowed everything down, and the renovations were not commenced until some time in 2002.

    3. Tsai Hou Lee

    [18] Mr. Lee is 65 years old. He gave his evidence through an interpreter. Mr. Lee’s recollection of the accident of August 10, 2001 is that he was stopped at a red light on 11th Avenue, at the intersection with 5th Street, behind Mr. Gerlitz’s vehicle, when he turned his head to talk to a young student he was driving home from his church. Mr. Lee said while he was talking to his passenger, his foot eased off the brake, though he said it did not leave the brake pedal entirely. When the car started to move, he stepped on the brake again, but his car had rolled into the vehicle in front and was touching it.

    [19] Mr. Lee said he saw the driver in the car in front of him when the cars came into contact, and he said the driver was seated normally, facing front. He said he felt no major movement at the time of impact. Neither he or his young passenger were hurt in the accident.

    [20] Mr. Lee testified that after the accident the driver of the car in front got out of the car and came to his window. Mr. Lee opened the window and gave Mr. Gerlitz his insurance information. Mr. Lee got out of his car and inspected the vehicles and saw no damage to his car, and could not see any damage to Mr. Gerlitz’s vehicle, either. After Mr. Gerlitz recorded Mr. Lee’s information, Mr. Lee said that he was sorry. He went back to his car and Mr. Gerlitz drove away.

    [21] Some issue at trial was made of Mr. Lee’s recollection of the distance between the vehicles when he got out of the car to inspect the damage, the time that the accident occurred and who got out of their car first. Mr. Lee frankly admitted that it has been a long time and that he was nervous when he gave evidence at discoveries. Though there are some deficiencies in Mr. Lee’s evidence, I do not believe that he was dishonest. Nor do I believe that Mr. Lee stepped on the accelerator when his foot left the brake. Mr. Lee’s evidence is consistent with what Mr. Good and Mr. MacInnis observed about the damage to the vehicles, and simply suggests that this was a relatively low impact collision.

    II. Accident Reconstruction and Engineering Experts

  9. #19

    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Plaintiff’s Expert: Craig Good

    [22] Craig Good is an engineer, currently employed by Collision Analysis Ltd. as an automotive forensic consultant. He was qualified as an expert in the field of mechanical engineering and biomechanics.

    [23] Mr. Good reviewed the damage estimates in respect of the vehicles involved in the accident. He did not have access to the vehicles themselves. He also reviewed a substantial amount of the medical records available in respect of Mr. Gerlitz’s injuries and Mr. Gerlitz’s evidence on discoveries.

    [24] Mr. Good’s report is based upon his understanding that at the time of the accident, Mr. Gerlitz was stopped at a red light, and Mr. Lee’s vehicle was stopped behind him. When Mr. Lee inadvertently released the brake, his vehicle struck Mr. Gerlitz’s vehicle from behind. At the time of the impact, Mr. Gerlitz was reaching over and trying to retrieve a number of items that had fallen under the dash on the passenger side, and his body was therefore twisted and he was leaning forward, bouncing his body trying to reach the items.

    [25] Mr. Good conceded that his inability to examine the vehicles involved in the accident meant that there was insufficient information to determine the collision severity experienced by Mr. Gerlitz’s vehicle. However, he wrote that a number of general opinions could be set out. He wrote that, while the damage estimates indicated little to no damage attributable to the collision, the fact that the bumpers were not disassembled to inspect for hidden damage was significant because the plastic covers on the bumpers can be pliable and could show little to no evidence of impact while hiding damage to the bumper core. Moreover, he pointed out that the literature has not found a good correlation between damage and collision severity from vehicles with foam core bumpers. These bumpers could conceal the damage resulting from an impact of up to 16 km/h, while individuals seated in the ideal position in a vehicle may sustain whiplash injuries at changes in velocity as low as 4 km/h, though Mr. Good acknowledged on cross-examination that the literature he looked to indicated that the injuries suffered at such low velocities tended to be minor and transient. Mr. Gerlitz was not seated in an ideal position. In essence, Mr. Good’s report and his evidence at trial stands for the proposition that, while he could not assess the severity of the impact, the relative lack of damage to the vehicles does not make it any less likely that Mr. Gerlitz suffered injury as a result.

    Defendant’s Expert: Steve MacInnis

    [26] Steve MacInnis is an engineer, currently employed as a Failure Analysis Engineering Specialist with SAMAC Engineering Ltd. He was qualified as an expert in motor vehicle accident reconstruction and occupant dynamics.

    [27] Like Mr. Good, Mr. MacInnis proceeded on the understanding that Mr. Gerlitz was stopped at a red light, and Mr. Lee was stopped behind him, when Mr. Lee’s vehicle suddenly rolled forward and contacted the rear of Mr. Gerlitz’s vehicle. He also proceeded on the understanding that Mr. Gerlitz had indicated that Mr. Lee’s vehicle was stopped close behind him and that traffic was “a little tight.”

    [28] Mr. MacInnis reviewed Mr. Good’s report. He agreed there was no data available to indicate damage to the Gerlitz vehicle. He disagreed, however, that there was insufficient information to determine impact severity. Mr. MacInnis noted that published idle acceleration data indicated that automobiles will idle forward on a level surface up to a maximum speed of approximately 5 to 7 km/h; within a distance of 1 to 2 metres, however, vehicles will reach a speed of approximately 3 to 5.5 km/h. Mr. MacInnis also tested a 2002 Subaru Outback, which he indicated was virtually identical to Mr. Lee’s 2000 vehicle, and found that the Subaru would idle forward on level ground at a maximum of 4.2 km/h. If Mr. Lee’s vehicle was stopped 1 to 2 metres behind Mr. Gerlitz, it would have struck the Gerlitz vehicle at a speed of 2.9 to 3.6 km/h. Mr. MacInnis pointed out that this fell below the 4 km/h threshold at which any injury has been reported during testing.

    [29] It is worth pointing out that of the tests Mr. MacInnis conducted using the 2002 Subaru Outback, one test fell considerably outside of the range of the others with respect to the speed the vehicle might have reached while idling and rolling forward, showing a maximum speed of 5.5 km/h after rolling 3 metres. This could have been the result of testing error or other factors. The other ten tests were largely consistent in their results and yielded the average used by Mr. MacInnis.

    [30] At trial, Mr. MacInnis was asked to consider a scenario whereby Mr. Gerlitz stopped his vehicle one half car length behind the vehicle in front of him and that after the collision the Gerlitz and Lee vehicles were three feet apart, as per Mr. Gerlitz’s description of the accident. Mr. MacInnis concluded that a three-foot separation post impact, assuming that Mr. Gerlitz had his foot on the brake the whole time, would indicate a speed change of 6 to 7 km/h. A second scenario whereby Mr. Gerlitz’s foot left the brake momentarily would indicate a speed change of 3.5 km/h. He also considered a scenario whereby Mr. Lee was stopped 1 to 1.5 metres behind Mr. Gerlitz’s vehicle initially and the impact resulted in a one-inch separation between the vehicles, as per Mr. Lee’s account of the accident. He concluded that the speed change in this scenario would be in the 1 - 2 km/h range, depending upon whether Mr. Gerlitz’s foot left the brake briefly.

    III. Medical and Functional Capacity Experts

    1. Plaintiff’s Experts

    (a) Heather Gerlitz.

    [31] Heather Gerlitz was qualified as an expert in kinesiology and functional capacity. Ms. Gerlitz is in the somewhat odd position of having conducted a functional capacity assessment of Mr. Gerlitz at the request of Section B insurer, ING Western Union, some time before she married him. The functional capacity assessment was conducted when Ms. Gerlitz was named Heather Sackschewsky and when she worked at Viewpoint Medical Assessment Services Inc., on July 9 and 10, 2002. That was the first time Ms. Sackschwesky met Mr. Gerlitz.

    [32] At that time, according to Ms. Gerlitz’s report, Mr. Gerlitz indicated that he still experienced a great deal of neck and back pain, as well as pain in his left hip. He said that rotation about his thoracic and lumbar spine would make his pain worse, and that any activity such as punching or kicking would increase his pain. He described his pain as numbing to acute, particularly after training, and he said that the pain was constantly present. He rated his pain level at a 4 out of 10, with 10 being excruciating. He indicated that he had gained 30 pounds since the accident and had experienced bouts of depression.

    [33] The testing done by Ms. Sackschewsky included a number of validity tests which indicated that Mr. Gerlitz was demonstrating good effort. She assessed hand and pinch grip capabilities, the cervical and lumbar spine, and functional range of motion. She also assessed Mr. Gerlitz’s hip strength and dynamic lifting capabilities. After the two days of testing, Ms. Sackschewsky concluded that Mr. Gerlitz was unable to meet the demands of a Martial Arts Instructor under the National Occupation Classification. She recommended that Mr. Gerlitz undergo rehabilitation pertaining to Active Release Therapy and continue with massage therapy. She also recommended him for therapy focussing on increasing the strength in his pelvis, core and spinal stabilization muscles.

    [34] As Mr. Gerlitz’s spouse and now, essentially, his business partner, Ms. Gerlitz was also in a position to give evidence with respect to the development of the MAFC and Injury Institute enterprises in the years following the accident. Ms. Gerlitz said that, some time around September, 2002, after she had met Mr. Gerlitz again at a conference, she accepted his invitation to see MAFC. She testified that he gave her a tour of the part of the facility where he intended to build the Injury Institute. Some time thereafter, after Ms. Gerlitz had taken a few more classes at MAFC, Mr. Gerlitz asked her if she would be interested in leaving Viewpoint and helping him at MAFC and the Injury Institute. She testified that Mr. Gerlitz showed her a business plan for the Injury Institute at that time. It was her evidence that she encouraged him to put his plans for progressive treatment and independent medical evaluations on the back burner and focus on functional testing and some treatment.

    [35] Not happy at that time at Viewpoint, Ms. Gerlitz initially agreed to work with Mr. Gerlitz as a consultant, free of charge. She looked at the way his instructors were teaching, and encouraged some to pursue certification. She helped Mr. Gerlitz market some new fitness classes for the club. She looked at ways to increase the number of memberships and suggested different programs for doing so. With respect to the Injury Institute, Ms. Gerlitz suggested that Mr. Gerlitz focus on functional testing for employers, and she helped him with marketing. In October, 2002, Ms. Gerlitz left Viewpoint to work with Mr. Gerlitz at MAFC and the Injury Institute full time, though the Injury Institute did not have its opening until June 6, 2003.

    [36] Once Ms. Gerlitz went on the payroll for MAFC and the Injury Institute, she took on the task of revamping the fitness classes by ensuring the instructors were certified and hiring certified instructors, giving seminars to instructors, and implementing new classes, which included different types of yoga and Pilates. She testified that the martial arts classes were blended more with fitness classes.

    [37] At present, Ms. Gerlitz does all of the functional testing and the majority of the treatments for the Injury Institute, and oversees the individuals working there. She also works on the marketing. She continues to work with MAFC, teaching some classes and working to ensure the instructors are capable and properly certified. She also continues to help with membership sales. She testified that Mr. Gerlitz remains a hands-on manager at MAFC, though somewhat less so at the Injury Institute.

    (b) Dr. Pamela Goebel

    [38] Dr. Pamela Goebel never saw Mr. Gerlitz, but prepared a medical legal report on the basis of notes by Dr. Howard Shiffman, with whom she practised for a time at the Properties Medical Clinic in Calgary, and who saw Mr. Gerlitz several times before leaving the province. Dr. Goebel did not speak to Dr. Shiffman about his notes before preparing her report and giving her evidence at trial.

    [39] Dr. Goebel was qualified as an expert in family medicine. There was concern expressed at trial by counsel for Mr. Lee that because Dr. Goebel did not examine Mr. Gerlitz, she should not be permitted to offer the opinion set out in her medical legal report, dated July 6, 2003, solely on the basis of her review of Dr. Shiffman’s notes. I agree that, in the ordinary case, it would be preferable to have Dr. Shiffman at trial to speak to his notes. I further agree that Dr. Goebel’s opinion should be weighed with a view to the proposition that she did not examine Mr. Gerlitz. Nevertheless, because Dr. Shiffman was Mr. Gerlitz’s physician at the relevant time, and because Dr. Goebel has some experience with Dr. Shiffman’s notes, I will consider her evidence, with a view to the fact that she did not examine Mr. Gerlitz and her opinion should extend no further than what can be reasonably discerned from Dr. Shiffman’s notes.

    [40] On the basis of Dr. Shiffman’s notes, Dr. Goebel indicated the Mr. Gerlitz attended upon the Kingsland Medical Clinic on August 13, 2001, three days after the accident. On examination, Dr. Shiffman noted decreased range of motion in the cervical spine, with tenderness and spasm in the muscles. Dr. Shiffman prescribed a sleeping aid and an analgesic and ordered a cervical and lumbar x-ray, which showed some interspace narrowing at C6-7, indicating pre-existing disc disease.

    [41] Mr. Gerlitz attended upon Dr. Shiffman for a number of follow-ups. He began to show improvement in October, 2001, though he complained of headache and neck pain. He said that he was doing “full work” one day per week. Dr. Shiffman prescribed an anti-inflammatory as well as analgesics and sleep aids. In December 2001 Mr. Gerlitz complained of increased back and neck pain despite attending for massage and chiropractic therapy. Dr. Shiffman added a prescription for the anti-depressant Elavil to the analgesics and sleep aids that he had already prescribed. He also referred Mr. Gerlitz to the specialist in Internal Medicine, Dr. Parekh.

    [42] Mr. Gerlitz returned for follow-ups in March and May 2002. In March, he described himself as 60% improved, but still complained of neck and back pain. Mr. Gerlitz continued to complain of pain and flare-ups in May 2002 and said that the had been unable to work since January of that year as a result of the pain. An MRI taken in the interim revealed mild degenerative osteoarthritis, which Dr. Goebel opined was likely pre-existing. Dr. Shiffman recommended physiotherapy for muscle conditioning and renewed Mr. Gerlitz’s prescriptions.

    [43] Based upon her review of the file, Dr. Goebel concluded that Mr. Gerlitz suffered a Grade 2 Whiplash injury to his neck and back (though Dr. Shiffman himself never assigned a Grade to the symptoms he noted), and that he was “unable to work at his regular occupation” from August 10, 2001 to May 2, 2002, though she did not opine with respect to exactly what she understood that regular occupation to be. It appears that Dr. Goebel understood Mr. Gerlitz’s regular occupation to be primarily the teaching of martial arts, as opposed to running the business. Dr. Goebel was unable to assess permanent impairment or the need for further treatment because, in her view, by the end of the period that Mr. Gerlitz saw Dr. Shiffman on May 15, 2002, Mr. Gerlitz had not yet reached maximum medical improvement, based upon the fact that Dr. Shiffman was still recommending treatment.

    (c) Dr. Prafull Parekh

  10. #20

    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    [44] Dr. Parekh is a specialist and was qualified as an expert in internal medicine. He saw Mr. Gerlitz on January 11, 2002 on referral from Dr. Shiffman. At that time, Dr. Parekh described a muscular individual complaining of stiffness and soreness in his lower back, neck and right shoulder. Mr. Gerlitz said that he had gained about 25 pounds and he described his ability to work as diminished 50 - 60% by the accident. He said that he had difficulty with his mobility and difficulty punching. On examination, Dr. Parekh found reduced range of motion in Mr. Gerlitz’s neck and right shoulder. Neurological examination was normal. He did not examine Mr. Gerlitz for range of motion in his lumbar spine because Mr. Gerlitz complained of pain.

    [45] Dr. Parekh requested an MRI, which was reviewed with Mr. Gerlitz on May 13, 2002, when the result was available. Dr. Parekh found that the MRI disclosed minor degenerative disc changes at C6-7 and L5-S1. Mr. Gerlitz was continuing to experience diffuse aches and pains, severe neck pain and lower back pain. Mr. Gerlitz said that he had gone away for a month and felt better, though he had developed stomach problems.

    [46] Dr. Parekh saw Mr. Gerlitz again on June 10, June 24 and July 8, 2002, during which time Mr. Gerlitz continued to complain of persistent back pain, though as of July 8, 2002, Dr. Parekh indicated that Mr. Gerlitz was continuing to improve. Dr. Parekh concluded that Mr. Gerlitz sustained soft tissue injuries affecting his cervical spine and lower back as a consequence of the accident, that his ability to work as a martial arts instructor was impaired as a result. As of the August 5, 2003 date of his report, it was Dr. Parekh’s view that Mr. Gerlitz’s prognosis was good.

    (d) Dr. Shelley Spaner

    [47] Dr. Spaner is a clinical assistant professor in the department of radiology at the University of Calgary Faculty of Medicine. She did not give evidence at trial, though her MRI report was introduced in evidence. Dr. Spaner conducted an MRI examination of Mr. Gerlitz’s cervical and lumbar spine on May 1, 2002 on referral from Dr. Parekh. Her impression, as set out in her Patient Diagnostic Report of May 1, 2002, is that there was no acute cervical or lumbosacral spine abnormality, but there were minor degenerative changes, specifically a circumferential disc bulge at the C6-7 level and some minor disc space narrowing at L5-S1.

    (e) Mikki Lea Lasuita

    [48] Ms. Lasuita is a registered massage therapist. She first saw Mr. Gerlitz on August 27, 2001 at the Bridgeland Chiropractic Clinic, where she worked. On that initial appointment, she took Mr. Gerlitz through a number of exercises, and he reported low back pain shooting down his left leg and pressure and pain in his back and left hip and pain and stiffness in his neck and headache.

    [49] Mr. Gerlitz attended upon Ms. Lasuita roughly once every week, for a total of 25 times, from August 27, 2001 to May 29, 2002. It does not appear from Ms. Lasuita’s notes that Mr. Gerlitz ever felt fully recovered, though it appears that there were some benefits from treatment. Mr. Gerlitz occasionally reported improvement, but indicated that he had experienced considerable pain throughout this entire period. On January 31, 2002, Mr. Gerlitz indicated that he had returned to some of his regular activities, but on the whole Ms. Lasuita’s notes indicate ongoing consistent complaints with tightness and pain in his back and neck.

    (f) Dr. Christopher Hankins

    [50] Dr. Hankins is a chiropractor. He was first introduced to Mr. Gerlitz by a patient, shortly before saw Mr Gerlitz in his clinic on May 3, 2000.

    [51] When Mr. Gerlitz saw Dr. Hankins on May 3, 2000, Dr. Hankins recorded in his notes that Mr. Gerlitz felt “really good right now” and that he was attending for maintenance, “currently undergoing chiropractic care with good results.” Mr. Gerlitz was provided with a form with a scale of one to ten to describe the pain he was currently experiencing, and Mr. Gerlitz indicated a zero. Dr. Hankins’ observations indicate that there was some minor pain when bending backwards in the L5 region, and some pain in the left back SI region. There was some greater range of motion in the right leg raise than in the left. There was moderate tenderness on palpation at the L5 region. Mr. Gerlitz did not have a full range of movement to the left in the cervical spine, and he had some pain in turning to the left. On palpation, there was some restriction in the C1 joint. There was some, minimal restriction in range of motion in the thoracic spine.

    [52] Mr. Gerlitz attended for treatments with Dr. Hankins about 20 times from May 2000 until August, 2001. There are indications in Dr. Hankins’ notes of some complaints of low back pain over this period, but some of the appointments appear to have been for “maintenance” only.

    [53] On the day of the accident, Mr. Gerlitz called Dr. Hankins, who was unable to see him that day. Mr. Gerlitz did attend at Dr. Hankins’ office on August 13, 2001. Together, Mr. Gerlitz and Dr. Hankins completed a Motor Vehicle Accident History Form. Mr. Gerlitz indicated that his head had struck the steering wheel in the accident, and that his neck and middle back were hurt, with pain continuing to get stronger. He wrote that there were bruises to his head and ribs. Dr. Hankins’ notes indicate that Mr. Gerlitz’s reported symptoms were left leg, low back and glute pain. He also reported upper back pain, headache and neck pain, which ached even when he was not moving. On examination, Dr. Hankins noted tightness in the left hamstring and glute, mild pain with left SI compression, tenderness to palpation in the lower back, reduced mobility in the L4-L5-S1 spinal joints, and in the left sacroiliac joint, a 50% reduced range of rotation with pain in the thoracic spine and moderate tenderness in the left paraspinal muscle groups. There was some pain with deep breathing in the thoracic spine. There was restricted range of movement and moderate tenderness in the cervical spine. There was tenderness to palpation in the left trapezius and at the base of the skull.

    [54] Mr. Gerlitz saw Dr. Hankins more than 60 times from the date of the accident to October 10, 2002. His notes record ongoing pain, tightness, headache, back spasms and some weight gain. From Dr. Hankins’ notes, Mr. Gerlitz appears to have been increasing his activity level starting around November, 2001, and he occasionally mentioned improvement, but it does not appear from Dr. Hankins’ notes that Mr. Gerlitz fully recovered over this period. Though Dr. Hankins’ notes end at October 2002, it was his evidence that he provided treatment to Mr. Gerlitz on a couple of occasions after that time,

    [55] It is important to note that Dr. Hankins’ dealing with Mr. Gerlitz extend beyond treating him as a patient. Dr. Hankins practices a number of forms of martial arts. He met Mr. Gerlitz prior to treating him and Mr. Gerlitz encouraged him to train at MAFC, which he did.

    [56] Dr. Hankins described Mr. Gerlitz’s participation in classes at MAFC, which he was able to observe, prior to and after the accident. After the accident, Mr. Gerlitz participated less and talked more, and sometimes was not there. He noted there were fewer people at the kickboxing class that he attended after the accident. After one instructor left, Dr. Hankins volunteered to teach the cardio kickboxing class on Saturday mornings in lieu of paying membership fees.

    [57] In the period of late summer, or early fall, of 2002, Dr. Hankins was invited to a meeting to discuss a business idea with Mr. Gerlitz and Ms. Sackschewsky. The new business venture they discussed was a therapy clinic alongside of the MAFC facilities, which was eventually to become the Injury Institute. No business plan for the Injury Institute was provided to him and no formal proposal was put to him.

    [58] After some discussions, Dr. Hankins came to an arrangement with Mr. Gerlitz whereby he would provide treatment to individuals at the Injury Institute. He never signed an agreement and there was no contract between himself and the Injury Institute or MAFC. He began providing services through the Injury Institute sometime before its formal opening. His involvement with the Injury Institute lasted for several months. It was his evidence that he treated fewer than 10 clients there, and that he ceased providing services there in or about late 2003 after he had a disagreement with Ms. Sackschewsky.

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