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

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Michigan Court of Appeals; Docket #352070; Unpublished 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


STATUTORY INDEXING: 
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)]

TOPICAL INDEXING: 
Not Applicable 


SUMMARY:
In this unanimous unpublished per curiam decision, the Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court’s summary disposition order dismissing Plaintiff Abdullah Talool’s third-party action against Defendant Janice Alice Rennalls.  The Court of Appeals held that Talool failed to present sufficient evidence to create a question of fact as to whether he suffered a serious impairment of body function in the subject crash.

Talool was involved in a motor vehicle collision as he was pulling out of his driveway, but the police report provided that the collision resulted in no injuries and that both Talool and the driver of the vehicle which hit him, Rennalls, were able to drive away from the scene.  Talool saw his primary care physician one week later and multiple times in the ensuing months, but his physician’s treatment notes never once “address[ed] either plaintiff’s involvement in the accident or his having developed any new medical condition or injury.”  A year-and-a-haf after the collision, Talool underwent an IME in which the evaluator concluded with “ ‘100% certainty that . . . no condition or even subjective symptoms arose from’ the [subject collision].”  In Talool’s subsequent third-party action against Rennalls, the trial court granted Rennalls’s motion for summary disposition, holding that Talool failed to present sufficient evidence to create a question of fact as to whether he had suffered an objectively manifested impairment as a result of the collision.

The Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court’s holding, noting that “every condition from which [Talool] argues he suffered as a result of the accident was also a condition from which he suffered before the accident,” and that his primary care physician “repeatedly observed that there had been ‘no recent change in [plaintiff’s] medical history’ ” after the crash.  Moreover, with regard to Talool’s argument that he “felt pain as a result of the accident,” the Court of Appeals held that Talool “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.”

“After considering the evidence in full, plaintiff’s claims that he suffered new injuries from the accident lack any support in the record. Similarly, plaintiff’s alternative claim that his preexisting conditions were aggravated by the accident also are unsupported by the record. Thus, the record before the trial court did not present any disputes of material fact regarding the nature and extent of any injuries suffered by plaintiff as a result of the accident. As such, the trial court correctly determined that no dispute of material fact precluded it from ruling on defendants’ motion for summary disposition. See Patrick, 322 Mich App at 607-608.

Given that plaintiff suffered neither injury nor impairment, we may quickly dispose of plaintiff’s second argument, that he suffered an objective impairment as a result of the accident. As discussed, 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. See McCormick, 487 Mich at 195-198; Patrick, 322 Mich App at 607-606.”

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