Fracture at C-7 is not "serious"State Farm successfully defended Erik Lundquist's injury claim on the basis he did not suffer a "serious impairment of bodily function" when he suffered a fractured vertebra in his neck.
Lundquist was a restrained passenger when he was injured in a motor vehicle accident. He suffered an eight-inch laceration on his forehead and a transverse fracture in his neck at C-7. He was required to wear a hard cervical collar for six weeks and then attended a handful of physical therapy visits. He moved with his family to South Carolina, where he was again treated for back pain but reported good results.
The injured man missed 2 and 1/2 months work as a waiter in Alpena, by doctor's orders, but has since become a restaurant manager in his adopted state. He testified he misses some work for medical reasons and endures pain at work that sometimes interferes with his job. He also reported sleep disturbances from pain--for which medication was prescribed--and that he had discontinued vigorous recreational activities at his doctor's oral direction. The court held, pursuant to the Engler Majority's "life altering" test from the Kreiner case, that Lundquist had not suffered a serious injury because he was able to lead his normal life "for the most part".