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Aman v Ver Hage Motor Sales Company; (COA-UNP, 11/9/2004, RB #2510)


Michigan Court of Appeals; Docket No. 249079; Unpublished
Judges Murray, Sawyer and Smolenski; unanimous; per curiam
Official Michigan Reporter Citation: Not applicable, Link to Opinion courthouse graphic

Serious Impairment of Body Function Definition (Kreiner Era: 1996-2010) [3135(7)] 
Objective Manifestation Element of Serious Impairment (Kreiner Era: 1996-2010) [3135(7)]
Determining Serious Impairment of Body Function As a Matter of Law (Kreiner Era:1996-2010) [3135(2)] 
Causation Issues [3135]

Not applicable 

In this unanimous unpublished per curiam opinion decided after the Supreme Court’s opinion in Kreiner v Fischer [RB #2428] interpreting the statutory definition of serious impairment of body function, the Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court order granting summary disposition in favor of defendant on plaintiff’s non-economic loss claim.  This appeal was decided without oral argument.  The plaintiff in this case sustained some ill-defined injury primarily involving his back, which resulted in pain and muscle spasms.  However, the plaintiff presented no evidence that created a disputed question of fact as to whether his back pain and spasms were causally related to his automobile accident.  Moreover, the court noted that pain, in and of itself, is not an objectively manifested condition and, therefore, pain was not enough to establish a threshold injury.  In this regard, the court stated:

“Regarding an objectively manifested impairment, plaintiff experienced back pain both prior to and following the accident, and on one occasion following the accident a physician diagnosed muscle spasms.  A muscle spasm is an objectively identifiable injury, and the ability to use the back is an important body function.  However, plaintiff presented no evidence that created an issue of fact as to whether the spasms were caused by the accident.  His assertion that he experienced pain following the accident is not sufficient to demonstrate the existence of an injury.  Pain, in and of itself, is not an objectively manifested condition, and cannot be relied upon to establish the existence of a serious impairment of body function.  No evidence presented in opposition to defendant’s motion for summary disposition created an issue of fact as to whether plaintiff suffered an objectively manifested injury as a result of the accident.  Absent such evidence, plaintiff was unable to make out a prima facie case that he suffered a serious impairment of body function because evidence establishing the causation element was not presented.  The trial court did not err in determining that the issue of whether plaintiff suffered a serious impairment of body function was a question of law under the circumstances, MCL 500.3135(2)(a), and correctly granted summary disposition.”

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