Motor Vehicles

Monroe County Jury Will Hear Emergency C-Section Claim

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According to Williamson, Haubrich claimed that the emergency C-section "impaired her ability to carry her unborn child to the scheduled delivery date." She further contended that this was an injury that crossed the tort threshold for injuries, as it caused serious impairment of a body function, which is covered under the MVFRL, 75 Pa. C.S.A. Section 1702(d).

Staniszewki argued that having a C-section 12 days before an already scheduled C-section does not impair a body function. She further argued the injuries did not constitute any impairment, much less a serious impairment that would allow for recovery.

The defendants filed for summary judgment, asking the court to block the case because the alleged injuries did not cross the impairment or serious injury threshold as required by Section 1702(d).

Williamson looked to the 2013 Superior Court decision in Cadena v. Latch, in which the court outlined its analysis framework for determining whether a person has suffered a "serious injury" under Section 1705(d).

The decision required a court to consider the extent of the impairment, the length of time the impairment lasted, the treatment required to correct the impairment and any other relevant factors. The decision further asked the court to consider how the injuries affected a particular body function, and not to just consider the injuries themselves.

"Taking into account the pleadings, depositions, exhibits and admissions of both parties, this court believes there to be a genuine issue of material fact in this case, and therefore agrees with the position asserted by plaintiff," Williamson said. "In applying the above principals of law to the instant cause of action, this court believes there to be a genuine issue of material fact as to whether the ability to carry an unborn child to a scheduled delivery date constitutes a serious impairment of a body function."

Kevin M. Conaboy of Abrahamsen, Conaboy & Abrahamsen, who represents Haubrich, did not return a call for comment.

Staniszewski's attorney, David E. Heisler of Cipriani & Werner, did not return a call for comment.

Max Mitchell can be contacted at 215-557-2354 or mmitchell@alm.com. Follow him on Twitter @MMitchellTLI.

(Copies of the eight-page opinion in Haubrich v. Staniszewski, PICS No. 14-0160, are available from Pennsylvania Law Weekly. Please call the Pennsylvania Instant Case Service at 800-276-PICS to order or for information.) •

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