This action arose out of a rear end accident that occurred on I-95 in the State of Delaware. The plaintiff, a Pennsylvania resident, had limited tort insurance. She claimed to have the benefit of full tort coverage because the accident occurred in Delaware. Defense counsel, Joseph Petka filed a motion for partial summary judgment in order to have the plaintiff deemed limited tort. The court granted defendant’s motion and the case proceeded to trial.
The case was tried before the Honorable Thomas P. Rogers in Montgomery County, PA. The defense stipulated to negligence and the jury was tasked with deciding whether the plaintiff sustained a serious impairment of a bodily function. The plaintiff presented evidence that she presented to the emergency room on the day of the accident with complaints of back pain. She then went on to treat with an orthopedist for 9 months, and then followed-up with a chiropractor for the next 4 years for chronic back pain. The plaintiff testified that she continued to treat regularly with a chiropractor and continued to have constant back pain. Mr. Petka argued that the plaintiff’s injuries did not constitute a serious impairment of bodily function by citing the lack of objective evidence of injury and the plaintiff’s active lifestyle.
The 12 member jury deliberated for less than 30 minutes before returning to the courtroom with a defense verdict.