2017 Mass.App.Div. 136, Chenell v. Central Wheelchair and Van Transportation, Inc.

Citation:2017 Mass.App.Div. 136
Opinion Judge:FLYNN, J.
Party Name:GAIL CHENELL v. CENTRAL WHEELCHAIR AND VAN TRANSPORTATION, INC. and another [1]
Attorney:J. Gregory Batten for the plaintiff. Christopher J. O'Rourke for the defendants.
Judge Panel:Present: Coven, P.J., Singh & Flynn, JJ.
Case Date:August 29, 2017
Court:Massachusetts Appellate Division
 
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2017 Mass.App.Div. 136

GAIL CHENELL

v.

CENTRAL WHEELCHAIR AND VAN TRANSPORTATION, INC. and another 1

Massachusetts Appellate Division, District Court Department, Northern District

August 29, 2017

May 26, 2017

J. Gregory Batten for the plaintiff.

Christopher J. O'Rourke for the defendants.

Present: Coven, P.J., Singh & Flynn, JJ. [2]

FLYNN, J.

Plaintiff Gail Chenell ("Chenell") brought this personal injury action against defendants Central Wheelchair and Van Transportation, Inc. and Brendan M. Cross (hereinafter collectively referred to as "Central Wheelchair/Cross"). A trial resulted in a directed verdict in favor of the defendants. As this action arose out of a motor vehicle accident, it is governed by G.L. c. 231, § 6D, which requires $2,000.00 in medical expenses as a threshold measure to recover damages for pain and suffering. At trial, the plaintiff did not submit any evidence of actual medical bills.

Page 137

The defendants moved pursuant to Mass. R. Civ. P. 50(a) for a directed verdict on that basis, which was allowed. The plaintiff now appeals that order and asserts as error issues solely related to the application and interpretation of G.L. c. 231, § 6D. We affirm. [3]

Chenell acknowledges that she did not offer any medical bills or other medical expenses into evidence. There is no dispute that Chenell failed to certify medical bills in accordance with G.L. c. 233, § 79G or attempt to offer actual medical bills or expenses in any other fashion. Chenell asserts that she met a "serious injury requirement" of G.L. c. 231, § 6D, and further argues that it was for the jury to so decide based upon the evidence of a "9% whole person impairment" and the medical records of treatment provided. However, Chenell inaccurately characterizes this statute; § 6D(3) states that there is an exception to the tort threshold where the injury "consists in whole or in part of permanent and serious disfigurement." The statute provides as follows:

"In any action of tort brought as a result of bodily injury, sickness or disease, arising out of the ownership, operation, maintenance or use of a motor vehicle within...

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