A woman was driving in East Hanover, Morris County, N.J. when she collided head on with a pickup truck. The woman sued the driver of the other vehicle for negligence and the owner for being vicariously liable. Frank Tunnero, Esq. of Aiello, Harris, Marth, Tunnero & Schiffman, P.C. represented the woman, who was diagnosed with disc herniations at C5-6 and C6-7, which resulted in a course of physical therapy.
It was later found that the herniated discs were impinging on the surrounding spinal cord nerves. Her orthopedic surgeon testified that the car accident caused a permanent injury and that she is a surgical candidate for a fusion.
The plaintiff is a teacher who spends a significant amount of time standing in the classroom and writing on the blackboard. Despite the plaintiff’s constant neck pain, restricted cervical motion, and ongoing tingling and numbness in three fingers, she said the fusion surgery was not an option because its risks could prevent her from working for an indefinite period of time.
The plaintiff’s suit sought only non-economic damages, for past and future pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life. Mr. Tunnero’s client was awarded $375,000 in damages.