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Skull v Steuver; (COA-UNP, 10/21/1992; RB #1578)


Michigan Court of Appeals; Docket No. 124659; Unpublished  
Judges Jansen, Kelly, and Griffin; 2-1 (with Judge Jansen, Dissenting); Per Curiam 
Official Michigan Reporter Citation:  Not Applicable; Link to Opinion alt   

Serious Impairment of Body Function Definition (DiFranco Era – 1987-1995) [§3135(1)] 
Determining Serious Impairment of Body Function As a Matter of Law (DiFranco Era – 1987-1995) [§3135(1)]

Not Applicable   

In this 2-1 unpublished per curiam Opinion with Judge Jansen dissenting, the Court of Appeals reversed the trial court's sua sponte grant of a directed verdict in favor of plaintiff on the threshold issue of serious impairment of body function. The majority ruled that under the Supreme Court's holding in DiFranco v Pickard, the question of whether plaintiff suffered a serious impairment of body function must be submitted to the trier of fact whenever the evidence would cause reasonable minds to differ as to the answer, even in those cases where there is no material factual dispute as to the nature and extent of plaintiff s injuries. Motions for summary judgment or directed verdict must be viewed in the light most favorable to the non-moving party. 

In this case, plaintiff, a 67-year old man, sustained back, shoulder and knee injuries, presumably of a soft tissue nature, as well as two broken ribs which eventually healed. There was evidence that as a result of the injuries, plaintiff never regained full use of his arm and shoulder and that he has limited range of motion in his neck. Judge Jansen would vote to affirm on the basis that no reasonable mind could differ that plaintiff’s injuries were serious and that they impaired one or more body functions.  

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