Michigan Court of Appeals; Docket No. 134656; Unpublished
Judges Weaver, MacKenzie, and Fitzgerald; Unanimous; Per Curiam
Official Michigan Reporter Citation: Not Applicable; Link to Opinion
Serious Impairment of Body Function Definition (DiFranco Era – 1987-1995) [§3135(1)]
Objective Manifestation Element of Serious Impairment (DiFranco Era – 1987-1995) [§3135(1)]
Determining Serious Impairment of Body Function as a Matter of Law (DiFranco Era – 1987-1995) [§3135(1)]
In this unanimous per curiam Opinion, the Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court grant of summary disposition in favor of defendants, finding as a matter of law that plaintiff’s injuries did not amount to a serious impairment of body function under §3135(1).
Plaintiff claimed that she sustained neck and back pain as a result of the automobile accident. She did not seek medical attention until two days after the accident, when she reported to the emergency room with neck, chest and left arm pain. She was diagnosed as having muscle spasms and was told to take Tylenol. Thereafter, she did not seek further medical attention until almost a year later, at which time she was prescribed Motrin. Approximately six months later, she began treating with a chiropractor and later that summer, reported to the emergency room again. The emergency room physician found "no definite abnormality" on x-rays, neurological tests were considered normal, and there was no objective evidence of neurological impairment in the neck. Later plaintiff received an injection of cortisone in her neck which relieved her pain. Subsequently she began experiencing pain in her thoracic spine and lumbar spine. However, her treating physician reported neurological tests as normal, and excellent range of motion in her back.
In affirming the trial court grant of summary disposition on the threshold issue of "serious impairment of body function," the court held that the trial court was correct in finding that reasonable minds could not differ in concluding that plaintiff’s injuries did not constitute serious impairment of body function. There was no evidence as to the extent of plaintiff s impairment in quantitative medical terms. Neurological tests and range of motion were normal. Additionally, the court felt that the type of treatment plaintiff received was "unremarkable." Therefore, the Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court grant of summary disposition in favor of the defendant.