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Court holds man alleging back injury from car accident failed to prove causation.

In McLaren v. Emcasco Insurance Co., the plaintiff sued his no fault insurance carrier after being injured by an uninsured motorist (he had purchased optional uninsured motorist coverage).  Although McLaren had  a history of cervical and lumbar problems with his back, he claimed he had different, more severe symptoms, after the collision. The court noted that McLaren offered no medical documentation or expert opinion testimony in the trial court to document his claim that the motor vehicle collision exacerbated his back problems and necessitated surgery.  On the contrary, the records suggested that he had disc herniations and degenerative spinal disease before the collision.

McLaren's attorneys also argued that his insurer had admitted that a causal relationship existed by paying [as a result of litigation] no fault PIP medical benefits after the collision.  The court pointed out, however, that the standard of proof relating to causation for PIP medical is a lower standard than the standard applied in liability settings, referenceing MCL 500.3105 and Scott v. State Farm.

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