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Alleged Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Insufficient Under NJ Tort Claims Act


November 5, 2009 at 5:16:22 PM

Plaintiff filed suit against the City of Bayonne alleging negligent management, operation, inspection, construction design and maintenance of an icy sidewalk where she slipped and fell.
Plaintiff suffered a comminuted displaced intra articular fracture of the distal radius of her right wrist. After seven weeks of physical therapy treatment, plaintiff received and sought no further treatment. Her treating physician diagnosed her with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and concluded that plaintiff’s injuries were permanent and progressive and casually related to the fall. He further stated plaintiff “sustained significant partial whole body permanent impairment” from her injuries.
In summary judgment, the judge found that plaintiff failed to show objective medical evidence of a permanent loss of a body function that is substantial, as required to trigger the Tort Claims Act. The judge reasoned that plaintiff’s subjective feelings of discomfort and her lingering pain resulting in a lessening ability to perform tasks were not sufficient to vault the TCA threshold. Plaintiff’s appeal was denied.
Thanks to Katusia Lundi for her contribution to this post.
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