In Dengler v. Marsh, No. 10538 of 2011, C.A. (C.P. Lawrence Oct. 3, 2012) the trial court decided a Motion for Summary Judgment in a limited tort case where the Plaintiff was claiming to have sustained a “serious injury” in a car accident. The trial court denies in part and grants in part defendant’s motion for summary judgment. The plaintiff, who was on Social Security disability at the time of the collision, was treated and released 4 hours after the accident at an emergency room for a 3cm superficial forehead abrasion. She also complained of neck and shoulder pain and back pain developing several weeks later.
She started chiropractic care 5 weeks post accident for neck and back issues for which plaintiff had also obtained chiropractic treatment five years prior. The plaintiff also complained of increased pain while housekeeping and while standing or walking for prolonged periods.
An expert chiropractor opined that the current complaints are solely due to accident. The trial court does not opine on credibility of the expert but, applying the appellate case law precedent, holds that a jury is to decide whether the plaintiff sustained serious bodily injury. However, the trial decides that a 3 cm abrasion did not constitute permanent serious disfigurement.
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