Automobile insurer denied chronic pain condition as cause of symptoms and limitations
MJ was a 45-year-old woman on her way to work as a bank teller. She was driving her husband's Dodge Ram Charger. Suddenly, she was cut-off by the left turn of a two-door Subaru. MJ was unable to work for three months. She returned to work for three years until pain prevented her from continuing. An insurance-appointed physician stated that the injury did not cause her disability. First, MJ would have recovered within a couple of months from the soft tissue injury. There was no anatomical explanation for any long-term injury. She suffered from depression. The most accurate diagnosis was fibromyalgia. This condition was not caused by trauma. The best cure was work and activity.
The driver admitted he was at fault. That was a minor detail. Geoff cross-examined three witnesses at the scene to prove the high speed of the Subaru and the force of impact on the Ram Charger. He worked with MJ's husband to establish the true extent of damage to the Dodge Ram Charger. The initial repair estimate called for bodywork. Further investigation discovered that the chassis was damaged in two locations. The Ram Charger had been damaged beyond repair.
Geoff obtained reports from the family doctor and a pain specialist to establish a valid medical explanation for the disability. The reports indicated MJ suffered from disabling chronic pain which had deteriorated to the point that she could no longer work.
Practice area(s): Car / Auto Accident, Personal Injury
Court: Newfoundland and Labrador Supreme Court