Court holds that late-identified injuries create question of fact on serious impairment
Sheraille Hinson sued TGI Friday's, Inc., after it served a minor patron Long Island Iced Teas sufficient to achieve a .17 blood alcohol before he ran off the road and hit a tree. Hinson was injured in the collision. A fractured femur and other problems were diagnosed and treated surgically at the outset, and she was confined to a wheelchair. Over the succeeding months, she also struggled with a mild head injury, back problems and an ankle that required surgery. Most of these issues were not identified when she was first hospitalized. A doctor did attribute them to the motor vehicle trauma, however.TGI Friday's insurer persuaded the trial judge that Hinson had not suffered a "serious impairment of bodily function" despite the fact that she was originally confined to a wheelchair for several months. On appeal the Court held, unanimously, that Hinson's various injuries, including those that were diagnosed late, created a question of fact for the jury to resolve with regard to whether she suffered a serious impairment.