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Talool v Rennalls, et al (COA – UNP 4/8/2021; RB #4256)


Michigan Court of Appeals; Docket #352070; Unpublished 
Judges Tukel, Jansen, and Cameron; Per Curiam
Official Michigan Reporter Citation: Not Applicable; Link to Opinion

Objective Manifestation Element of Serious Impairment (McCormick Era: 2010 - Present) [§3135(7)]
Determining Serious Impairment of Body Function As a Matter of Law (McCormick Era: 2010 – present) [§3135(2)]

Not Applicable 


A. Disposition:
In this unanimous unpublished per curiam opinion, the Court of Appeals affirmed summary disposition for the defendant because the plaintiff failed satisfy the objective manifestation element of McCormick as a matter of law. 

B. Nature ofInjury/Disability:
The underlying accident in this case was described as being "minor." The police reported that “[t]here were no injuries and both vehicles involved were able to be driven off location.” The court did not further describe the nature of the plaintiff's claimed injuries and noted only that the Plaintiff’s claimed injuries included, subjective complaints of pain, "muscle spasms," and an aggravation of pre-existing conditions.  The court did not identify the plaintiff’s claimed injuries or impairments any further and did not identify whether the plaintiff had suffered from any disabilities as a result of them. 

C. Medical Treatment:
Ten days after the accident, plaintiff visited his primary care physician, who wrote in her notes that plaintiff had “[n]o recent change in medical history.”  Plaintiff's primary-care physician's notes "did not even mention" the subject car accident. Her notes “regarding plaintiff’s physical condition were essentially identical to plaintiff’s condition before the accident.” In the months that followed the accident, additional treatment notes “did not address either plaintiff’s involvement in the accident or his having developed any new medical condition or injury.”  About a year-and-a-half after the accident, Plaintiff later underwent an IME by Dr. Steven R. Geiringer, who opined “with 100% certainty that . . . no condition or even subjective symptoms arose from” the November 2015 car accident.”

D. Element #1 – Objective Manifestation:
In holding that the plaintiff failed to satisfy the objective manifestation element as a matter of law, the court noted that "the record before the trial court lacked any evidence establishing a physical basis for plaintiff’s complaints of pain that he claimed were caused by the accident. Furthermore, the medical records in this case fail to establish any change in plaintiff’s medical condition as a result of the accident. Thus, plaintiff failed to support his complaints of pain with any objective evidence. As such, plaintiff failed to establish that he suffered an objectively manifested impairment as a result of the accident and the trial court correctly granted summary disposition to defendants." 

E. Element #2 – Important Body Function:
The court did not discuss this element.

F. Element #3 – General Ability: 
The court did not discuss this element.

G. Other Comments:
The Court further concluded that the plaintiff’s claims further failed on the basis that causation was lacking, noting that “plaintiff failed to present any evidence of a physical basis for his alleged pain and suffering, let alone any basis that pain was caused by the accident.”

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