Injured? Contact Sinas Dramis for a free consultation.


Al-Mohsin v Davidson (COA - UNP 8/20/2020; RB #4138)



Michigan Court of Appeals; Docket # 350893; Unpublished
Judges Krause, Sawyer, and Boonstra; per curiam
Official Michigan Reporter Citation: Not Applicable; Link to Opinion

Serious Impairment of Body Function Definition (McCormick Era: 2010 – present) [§3135(5)**] 
Causation Issues [§3135]


In this unpublished per curiam opinion, the Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court’s grant of summary disposition to the defendant on the issue of causation because plaintiff presented no evidence to establish a serious impairment of body function or evidence that any impairment was caused by the accident in question.

This case arose from a three-car accident involving plaintiff resulting in alleged “long-term debilitating pain and permanent damage to her spine and neck.” Plaintiff received medical treatment the day after the accident and proceeded to spend several months seeing a myriad of medical providers. None of plaintiff’s doctors noticed any limitations exhibited by plaintiff, and an Independent Medical Evaluation indicated that it was “clear with 100% medical certainty that no symptoms or impairment either arose or certainly persisted after [the date of the accident].” Further, despite plaintiff’s denial of having been in any car accidents since the accident in question, defendant provided records that plaintiff was involved in another automobile accident on year after the accident in question. In her complaint for no-fault benefits, plaintiff alleged that the accident caused her to suffer serious and disabling injuries to her “skeletal system, nervous system, and the muscles, tendons, ligaments, nerves, and tissues of her back, neck, head, shoulders, arms, hands, legs, feet, knees, and other parts of her body, as well as other serious and disabling injuries, including closed head injuries requiring surgical intervention, the nature and extent of which are unknown at this time.” Defendants moved for summary disposition, arguing that the medical evidence showed that, “at the most, she had some disc degeneration in her spine,” and that plaintiff “had not shown any impairment to her ability to lead her normal life, her medical documentation showed no evidence of a traumatic injury, and plaintiff failed to provide any concrete evidence contradicting [the IME’s] findings or conclusion that she was unimpaired and probably malingering.” In turn, plaintiff argued that doctors performing IME’s were “intrinsically biased and should not be relied upon,” and that a myriad of doctors would testify as to the causation of her injuries. However, plaintiff provided no such actual evidence. Thus, the trial court concluded that there was “‘nothing to connect’ any injuries to the accident.”

On appeal, the Michigan Court of Appeals noted that the issue in this case was whether plaintiff had established a genuine issue of material fact as to whether she sustained a serious impairment of body function as a result of the accident in question. In addressing this question, the Court noted that “[t]he evidence only barely suggests that the plaintiff was even seriously injured.” The Court further noted that “[e]ven accepting plaintiff’s argument that [her IME doctor] had extrinsic motive to find plaintiff not disabled . . .  plaintiff had not provided anything contradicting [the IME findings].” Thus, the Court determined that “[p]laintiff’s argument appears to be, in effect, that because she was treated for pain, she must, ipso facto, have had an underlying injury. Supposing that to be a reasonable inference, it does not follow that he was injured as a result of the accident . . . [t]here are no statements from any medical provider stating a finding . . . that there was a link between the accident and plaintiff’s self-reported symptoms. Notably, plaintiff totally ignores the evidence that she was involved in another motor vehicle accident just over a year after the accident at issue . . . .” The Court concluded that “[i]n short, the only medical opinion in the record squarely and directly addressing whether plaintiff’s reported symptoms are real or have any underlying biological cause is [the] IME. Plaintiff could have solicited an affidavit or other statement from any of her treating physicians but she did not. Even if the conclusions in [the IME] report are ignored, plaintiff has presented nothing more than self-reports and conjectures. Plaintiff therefore cannot establish a serious impairment of body function or that any impairment was caused by the [accident in question]. We therefore need not address whether plaintiff’s self reported symptoms would meet the threshold for a serious impairment under MCL 500.3135(5)(c).”

Michigan auto accident attorney Stephen Sinas is the lead editor of the appellate case summaries published on this site regarding the Michigan auto insurance law. To learn more about how Stephen Sinas and how the Sinas Dramis Law Firm can help you if you have been injured in a Michigan auto accident, visit

Copyright © 2024  Sinas Dramis Law Firm, George Sinas, Stephen Sinas.
All Rights Reserved.
Login (Publishers Only)