Published on:

Case Law Update: Damages in Personal Injury Cases

Poliszczuk v. Winkler, No. 1-07-0490 (12-1-08), is a first division case which found that the trial court did not abuse its discretion when it denied plaintiffs’ motion for new trial after jury, deliberating on the issue of damages only, returned verdict in their favor, but awarded them no damages for either disability or loss of normal life. Jury was free to believe testimony of defense expert that female plaintiff suffered from congenital condition in her back, that condition reflected on imaging tests was not result of trauma, and that she showed no signs of pain reflex or discomfort during his examination of her. Male plaintiff’s treating physician had not examined him for four years prior to trial and could not testify that his patient’s condition was permanent. This case will have an effect on the way damages are assessed in personal injury cases.