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Carpenter v Knight; (COA-UNP, 3/21/2006, RB #2698)


Michigan Court of Appeals; Docket #257581; Unpublished
Judges Smolenski, Whitbeck, and O’Connell; unanimous; per curiam
Official Michigan Reporter Citation: Not applicable, Link to Opinion

Serious Impairment of Body Function Definition (Kreiner Era - 1996-2010 [3135(7)]
Causation Issues [3135]
Evidentiary Issues [3135]

Not applicable

In this unanimous unpublished per curiam opinion decided after the Supreme Court’s decision in Kreiner v Fischer [RB #2428] interpreting the statutory definition of serious body function, the Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court order granting summary disposition in favor of defendants on plaintiff’s claim for non-economic losses. The plaintiff in this case sustained ill-defined injuries to his back which he alleged exacerbated a pre-existing condition. In affirming summary disposition for defendant, the Court of Appeals noted that plaintiff failed to provide objective medical evidence that his condition had changed. The only evidence plaintiff provided was his own statements to that effect which was insufficient to survive defendant’s motion for summary disposition. In this regard, the court stated:

. . . [N]one of plaintiff’s evidence provides any basis for finding that plaintiff’s condition was caused by the accident. It is insufficient ‘to submit a causation theory that, while factually supported, is, at best, just as possible as another theory. Rather, the plaintiff must present substantial evidence from which a jury may conclude that more likely than not, but for the defendant’s conduct, the plaintiff’s injuries would not have occurred.’”

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