Court of Appeals overturns trial judge's summary disposition of "serious impairment" claim
An Oakland County trial judge summarily dismissed Katrenia Blackburn's personal injury claim even though the Defendants admitted that she suffered an objectively manifested impairment of an important bodily function in a collision caused by the Defendants. The defendants had argued that the injury did not seriously impair Blackburn's "general ability to lead her normal life" because after she was hurt she applied for and received a licenst to provide day care to children.
Blackburn appealed, pointing out that her injuries restricted her life in a number of ways, including housekeeping, travel, yard work, laundry, cooking, and play with her graandchildren. She also pointed out that she was no longer able to work in her prior occupation as a Medical Assistant, that she had only earned $200.00, total, for providing day care services, and that the defendants' argument that she was now working in a more demanding occupation was simply unsupported by the proofs.
The Court of Appeals agreed that the lower court had been wrong in summarily dismissing Blackburn's case. It held that she had presented enough evidence of serious impairment of her lifestyle to have a jury decide her claim.