Court errs in summarily dismissing back injury claim based on prior and subsequent similar injuries
Sten Fondren filed a lawsuit after an Ace Asphalt & Paving Co. employee allegedly "jerked" open his truck door, causing him to fall and suffer injury. The Defendants' insurer argued that Fondren's claim must be dismissed because he had similar back complaints before this incident and was also involved in another "aggravating" incident the following year. The trial court agreed and dismissed the case before trial.
The Court of Appeals reversed and sent the case back to the trial judge for further proceedings. It noted that the insurance attorneys had over-stated the unrelated back complaints suffered by Fondren, and that in any event, it was for a jury to determine what "caused" his injuries and whether the truck door incident was a significant contributing factor that resulted in a significant exacerbation and a serious impairment of bodily function.