Baldino-Durante v. Safeco Insurance Co. of Illinois, 2022 WL 294524, No. CV196090729S (D. Conn. New Haven, Jan. 12, 2022)

CT Superior Court sets relevant baseline for pain and suffering from head and back symptoms absent any traumatic brain injury diagnosis or surgical intervention.

The District Court, acting as the finder of fact, was tasked with assessing the value of the plaintiff’s alleged injuries in an uninsured motorist action by the plaintiff against her insurer where liability was conceded. The court, in performing its task to award “reasonable damages for the plaintiff’s injuries that were proximately caused by the defendant’s negligence,” specifically noted that the CT scans were unremarkable, that the plaintiff did not strike her head or lose consciousness. However, significant weight was afforded to the plaintiff’s subjective complaints of headaches and claims of their increasing intensity, consistent use of pain medication, and subjective complaints of radiating cervical pain. The plaintiff received medication and physical therapy but no surgical intervention. 

The court found that the evidence established a “diminution in her ability to engage in life’s activities,” specifically noting that she was in her forties with three young children. The court awarded $120,000 ($50,000 past, $70,000 future) in pain and suffering damages.

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