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MOTOR VEHICLE TORTS: Plaintiff Who Refused Cortisone injections Awarded $28,608

MOTOR VEHICLE TORTS: Plaintiff Who Refused Cortisone Injections Awarded $28,608

Case:  Ferrigno v. Ferrand

Court:  Fairfield J.D., at Bridgeport

Doc. No.: CV19-6007726

Court Opinion By: Rittenband, J.T.R.

Date:  Feb. 1, 2012

A plaintiff’s failure to accept medical treatment does not constitute a failure to mitigate damages. In April 2008, as the plaintiff, Frank Ferrigno, approached an intersection on Route 136 in a ford van, the defendant’s Mini Cooper allegedly entered the intersection, directly in the plaintiff’s path.  The plaintiff credibly testified that he was unable to avoid colliding with the Mini cooper, although he slammed on his brakes and attempted to swerve.  The plaintiff’s repairs to his van cost $10,000, and the plaintiff allegedly injured his back, elbow and hip and underwent physical therapy.  In 2009, the plaintiff was diagnosed with trochanteric bursitis in his hip.  The defendant admitted that she was negligent. The plaintiff’s medical expenses were $2,868.  The plaintiff, a plumber, did not prove loss of wages, although he complained about difficulty performing work.  The plaintiff sought physical therapy in May 2008 and then did not schedule appointments again until November 2008.  The court found that the November 2008 medical appointment(s) were causally related to the April 2008, motor vehicle accident, although the plaintiff stopped physical therapy for several months.  The court awarded economic damages of $2,868.  There was no evidence of any permanent injury to the plaintiff’s back and elbow.  Dr. Edward Staub, an orthopaedic surgeon, rated the plaintiff, 47, with a 5 percent permanent partial disability to his hip, as a result of the 2008 motor vehicle accident.  Although the plaintiff did not permit his doctors to inject cortisone, the court was not persuaded that the plaintiff failed to mitigate damages.  The plaintiff and his family testified that the plaintiff experienced difficulty with recreation, household and work activities.  The plaintiff’s son claimed that his father’s ability to coach lacrosse was restricted.  The court awarded the plaintiff non-economic damages, for pain and suffering, of $25,740, for a total of $28,608, plus costs.