Jury determines shoulder injury was not a serious impairment
In Regan v. Suchowolec, the Court of Appeals was asked to consider a jury's verdict of no cause action, denying Ms. Regan any recovery for her motor-vehicle-accident-shoulder injury. She claimed that the trial court should have directed a verdict in her favor and not allowed the jury to decide the issue. The Court of Appeals rejected her request, holding that her claims, particularly her description of pain and interference with life activities, were questions of fact and credibility and properly decided by a jury.
Ms. Regan was injured on Christmas Eve, 2004, and apparently there was no dispute over the Defendant's fault in causing the collision. Regan complained of neck and shoulder pain and ultimately underwent arthroscopic surgery for a labrum tear and a tear in the subscapularis muscle. She also underwent a long regimen of physical therapy and endured a second surgery to "shave a portion of her acromion". After the second surgery, she appeared to heal without complications but continued to complain of shoulder pain. Citing some disagreement among her physicians about the cause of her continuing pain and also regarding future limitations and restrictions, the Court held that the trial court had properly left the determination of "serious impairment" as defined in the Kreiner case, to the jury's resolution.