July 28, 2017
Volume XXIX, No. 18

 

COURT OF APPEALS FINDS NO SERIOUS
IMPAIRMENT OF BODY FUNCTION

 By Paul Gipson

In Sanders v Allstate Ins Co (unpublished,) the Court of Appeals affirmed the dismissal of a third-party action that involved claims of neck injuries and a closed head injury. The Court of Appeals found that there was a factual dispute regarding the extent of injuries, but that dispute was not material to the determination whether Plaintiff suffered a threshold injury arising out of the subject motor vehicle accident.

The Court of Appeals first considered the Circuit Court’s determination that Plaintiff’s alleged neck injury was not an objectively manifested impairment (i.e. “evidenced by actual symptoms or conditions that someone other than the injured person would observe or perceive as impairing a body function.”) The Court of Appeals affirmed the Circuit Court’s finding that Plaintiff failed to introduce evidence establishing that there was a physical basis for her subjective complaints of pain. Plaintiff’s medical records contained only a diagnosis of a cervical sprain/strain. In addition, there was a negative cervical CT, two negative cervical MRIs, and one negative EMG. This was further compounded by relatively normal physical examinations of the cervical spine. Simply put, there was no objective evidence of injury in light of these records.

The Court of Appeals also noted Plaintiff’s testimony established there were no significant “changes in life” related to her claimed neck injuries Plaintiff’s testimony focused only upon her severe limitations from a pre-existing lower back injury (for which Plaintiff underwent one surgery at L4-S1 before the accident, and was already scheduled to undergo a second surgery on a date after the accident). Plaintiff’s testimony, and reports to her medical providers, established that her alleged neck injury did not “significantly” change her pre-existing limitations from the low back condition.

After considering the neck complaints, the Court of Appeals focused on Plaintiff’s claimed closed head injury. The Court noted that pursuant to MCL 500.3135(2)(a)(ii), there is a question of fact for the jury if a DO or MD that regularly diagnoses/treats closed head injuries testifies there may be a serious neurological injury. The Court found, however, that in this case Plaintiff relied only on a neuropsychological report indicating that Plaintiff had “what appears to be a probably resolving post-concussion syndrome” secondary to the accident. The Court of Appeals found that even if it could consider the report of a neuropsychologist, who is neither an MD nor DO as required by statue, the report was still insufficient because it did not state that there was a neurological injury that was “serious” or “severe.” Although Plaintiff did present a report of a DO that saw Plaintiff following the subject accident, the Court noted the report was not testimony and thus failed to satisfy the statute. Similarly, medical report noting a possible traumatic brain injury due to a subcutaneous hematoma involving the left scalp and closed head injury symptoms was only slightly more than “speculation” and insufficient to create a question of fact as to a closed head injury.

Paul is an Associate in our Ann Arbor Office.
 
He can be reached at (734) 930-5600 or pgipson@garanlucow.com

 

 

SEMINARS

 

BASICS OF MICHIGAN AUTOMOBILE

NO-FAULT INSURANCE LAW COURSE

Garan Lucow Miller, P.C. is pleased again to offer this in-depth, educational course to our clients. It will be taught each Tuesday evening, from September 19, 2017 through November 21, 2017, from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

This year the 9 week course will take place at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, 925 South Creyts Road, Lansing, MI 48917

The cost of the 9 week course is $350.00 per person, with a discount of $50.00 per person for more than 2 registrants from the same company.

Please contact Eileen Carty to register at ecarty@garanlucow.com or (248) 641-7600.

 

 

GARAN LUCOW MILLER, P.C.

CLIENT BASEBALL GAME
JIMMY JOHN’S FIELD

Please join us for a night of baseball, families welcome!

Thursday, August 24, 2017
Buffet begins at 6:00 p.m.
Game beings at 7:00 p.m.

Please RSVP to Eileen Carty:ecarty@garanlucow.com

 

 

 

SAVE THE DATE

TROY BREAKFAST SEMINAR

The TROY BREAKFAST SEMINAR will take place on Friday, September 8, at the Marriott in Troy. This is a complimentary seminar for our clients. Agenda will be posted soon.

 

 

SAVE THE DATE

RIVALRY SEMINAR

The RIVALRY SEMINAR will take place on Friday, October 6th, at Weber’s Inn, in Ann Arbor.  This is a complimentary seminar for our clients. An Agenda will be posted soon.

 

 

“OPEN HOUSE AT THE BIG HOUSE”

Garan Lucow Miller invites you to attend our Open House at The Big House to help us celebrate the opening of our newly relocated Ann Arbor office on Friday, October 6, 2017, beginning at 2:00 p.m.

The Open House at The Big House will take place at Garan Lucow Miller’s new Ann Arbor office overlooking Michigan Stadium (a/k/a, “The Big House”), located on the Fifth Floor of the historic First National Building, 201 S. Main Street, Ann Arbor, MI 48104, immediately following our Rivalry Seminar.

  • Food provided by Ann Arbor’s famous Zingerman’s Delicatessen!
  • Beverages provided by Ann Arbor microbrewery Grizzly Peak Brewing!
  • Parking validated!
  • Both Rivalry Seminar attendees and non-attendees are invited!
  • Wolverine and Spartan fans alike are invited!
  • Highlights of historic matchups between Michigan and Michigan State will be played!

Come and help us celebrate by mingling, eating, drinking, and, of course, trash-talking the other team!

 

For inquires, upcoming seminars, or in-house seminar requests please contact Eileen Carty at ecarty@garanlucow.com

Sarah Nadeau, Editor of the Law Fax Publication,

is a Shareholder in our Detroit Office.

Sarah can be reached at 313.446.1530 or snadeau@garanlucow.com

 

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