Eastern Section Reverses Rejection of PI Claim for Want of Contesting Medical Proof from Defendant

Court: TN Court of Appeals


Aleania Smith and Howell H. Sherrod, Johnson City, Tennessee, for the appellants, Lori and Jeffrey Wilhoit.

James E. Rasnic, Bristol, Virginia, for the appellees, Joshua Andrew Rogers and Englewood Lawn & Landscape, LLC.


This case involves an automobile accident wherein a refrigerator being hauled by Defendants fell from a truck and collided with Plaintiffs’ vehicle. Plaintiff, Lori K. Wilhoit, was driving the vehicle and filed suit regarding her personal injuries and the property damage to her vehicle. Her husband, Jeffrey Wilhoit, also asserted claims regarding property damage to the vehicle and loss of consortium with and services of his wife. A jury trial was held in November and December 2011. As the matter of liability was stipulated, the only issues submitted to the jury related to the amount of damages, if any, suffered by Plaintiffs. The jury returned a verdict awarding Plaintiffs $3,200 for property damage and zero damages for all other claimed injuries. Plaintiffs have appealed. We affirm the jury’s verdict regarding property damage and Mr. Wilhoit’s claims, but we reverse in part the jury’s verdict regarding a portion of Ms. Wilhoit’s injuries and medical expenses. We remand this case for further proceedings regarding Ms. Wilhoit’s damages.

.PDF Version of Case

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Injury and 0 damages.

This is an interesting case where the jury in the face of a what appears to be an admitted fault case with a significant damage claim returned a -0-. The Court of Appeals goes through each element of damages and agrees with the Jury until it gets to a claim that the Plaintiff ruptured breast implants in the accident. As, what appears to be dictum in the case the Court notes that even if no injury is suffered the Plaintiff if they seek treatment to find out they have no injury this is recoverable. However, in this case the Plaintiff presented proof that more likely than not she suffered an injury to her implants. As a result the jury cannot ignore medical proof. A good read.