Woman loses battle over PIP medical benefits for aggravating previous back injuries.
Donica Davis sought continuing PIP benefits after another woman backed in to her in a gas station. The woman who backed into Davis claimed she was traveling at less than 2 miles per hour when she backed up to give another motorist space. Davis had endured a prior spinal fusion and had an extensive history of back problems prior to this incident. She claimed that after about one-half hour, her back began to act up, and she sought PIP benefits from AutoOwners. The insurer paid benefits for about a year before refusing to pay for futher benefits, and after a jury trial, it achieved a verdict that Davis was not injured in the mishap. Davis appealed, arguing that the conclusion she was unhurt was against the great weight of the evidence.
Looking at her prior and subsequent medical and the facts of the collision, the Court of Appeals upheld the jury's verdict, finding it more than justified by the circumstantial evidence. It also rejected Davis' claim that the verdict should be over-turned because two jurors slept through part of her doctor's testimony. The Court noted that Davis' attorneys should have objected at the time, and if they had, the Court would have replayed the video deposition testimony.