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NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Argued May 9, 2001

The Legislature amended the verbal threshold statute in 1998 to modify significantly the limitation on the right to sue for non-economic damages. L. 1998 c. 21, � 11. This appeal is controlled by the pre-existing 1988 statute’s definition of the verbal threshold and presents two issues. The first is whether plaintiff Caline Fowler presented sufficient evidence of a rib fracture under the 1988 formulation of the verbal threshold statute, N.J.S.A. 39:6A-8, to withstand defendant’s summary judgment motion. The second assumes that plaintiff has suffered a rib fracture and asks whether plaintiff must nevertheless demonstrate that the injury has had a serious impact on plaintiff and her life in order to surmount the verbal threshold and sue for pain and suffering. The motion judge answered the first question in the negative, the second question in the affirmative, and dismissed plaintiff’s complaint. We disagree with the motion judge’s answers to both questions and reverse and remand.

 
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