Ms. Francena Perry, the plaintiff, was driving her vehicle on U.S. Highway 29 in Concord, North Carolina. She slowed down to make a legal U-turn and was struck by a vehicle driven by the defendant Cisneros Hernandez and owned by Diego Otero, the other defendant. Mr. Hernandez admitted that he re-ended Ms. Perry’s vehicle, which forced Ms. Perry’s car across the roadway and into a tree.
Ms. Perry alleged that she had no preexisting shoulder or wrist complaints and this accident necessitated surgery to repair those injuries. There were gaps in the plaintiff’s treatment because she waited over 3.5 years before having the surgeries. Ms. Perry claimed the impact was sufficient to cause the injuries and she had continuing pain.
The defendants contended that the accident didn’t cause Ms. Perry’s shoulder injuries or the need for surgery. The defendants maintained that the plaintiff had preexisting joint pain complaints and that the carpal tunnel injury was likely related to her job.
Ms. Perry who worked at a tobacco plant alleged bilateral rotator cuff tears which required surgery. The plaintiff also claimed carpal tunnel syndrome which required carpal tunnel release surgery, as well as soft tissue cervical and lumbar injuries. Ms. Perry was able to return to work for a period of time before the tobacco plant for which she worked went out of business.
The jury deliberated for three and a half hours and the verdict was $87,980 which was limited to $50,000 pursuant to a high/low agreement on December 8, 2009.