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Another decision on serious impairment

        Relying upon the Supreme Court's ruling in the Kreiner case, the Court of Appeals recently held that a woman who suffered (among other injuries) a rotator cuff tear in her right shoulder, did not suffer a "serious" injury.  The victim endured surgery in June of 2005 after she failed to respond to a February injury.  She wore a shoulder brace for the next four weeks, and missed six weeks of work.  She attended physical therapy three times per week for six weeks and intermittently through March of 2006, 13 months after the wreck.

        In May of 2006, she testified that her shoulder had not recovered fully.  She had continued difficulty with various household and grooming tasks and had to train herself to do some things with her non-dominant left hand.  She could no longer bowl, but otherwise conceded that there was nothing else that she "absolutely could not do".  The trial court denied the Defendant's motion to dismiss her claim on the threshold basis, but the Court of Appeals reversed and threw her claim out.  The three judges held that under Kreiner, "the plaintiff failed to show that the course or trajectory of her normal life was affected".  We'd be willing to bet that the "ordinary person" would consider her injury to be "serious"--the actual legislative standard before it was manipulated by an aggressively conservative majority on the Supreme Court.

Thompson O’Neil, P.C.
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