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Pinney v. Carrera, 2019 UT App 12 (Jan. 10, 2019)

Jan 10, 2019

The appellant sought to overturn the jury’s award of non-economic damages to the plaintiff on the ground that she failed to show a “permanent disability or permanent impairment based upon objective findings,” as required by Utah Code § 31A-22-309(1)(a)(iii).  The court interpreted this statute as requiring a plaintiff to demonstrate through evidence other than the plaintiff’s own subjective testimony that he or she has suffered either an inability to work or a loss of function that is reasonably certain to continue throughout the plaintiff’s life.  Applying this definition, the court concluded that the plaintiff met the threshold requirement through testimony of her chiropractor and family members that she continued to suffer the effects of a herniated disc injury.