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Court upholds verdict against injured motorist, despite error in admitting medical records

Keri Lea Cremeans sued Glenn Hoornstra for negligent operation of a motor vehicle.  While the appellate court did not provide much detail about her knee injury, it apparently required two surgeries and was likely to additional future care.  Her surgeons did not restrict her from working or normal activity, but explained that the knee would "never be normal"  and "she would always have some degree of problems with it."  The jury held that Cremeans did not suffer a "serious impairment of bodily function" under the Kreiner standard imposed by the so-called "Engler Majority" and Cremeans' attorneys appealed.  They also complained that the Defendants improperly admitted an unsubstantiated medical record suggesting a failure of Cremeans to mitigate her damages, where neither her doctor nor any other witness had authenticated the record.

The Court of Appeals agreed that admitting the record was erroneous, but concluded that the error was harmless.  It allowed the verdict of "no serious impairment" to stand.

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