Doctors' affidavits establish question of fact regarding traumatic brain injury
In MacDonald v. Koch and Norandex Reynolds Distribution Co. the Court of Appeals recently held that affidavits filed by the injured man's doctors were sufficient to create a question of fact with regard to whether MacDonald had suffered a traumatic brain injury that constituted a "serious impairment of bodily function." MacDonald had sued the at-fault driver and his employer after a motor vehicle collision. By law he must prove that he suffered a "threshold" injury, and the pertinent statute addresses the proofs necessary to prove a head injury separately from other injuries.
The trial court had dismissed MacDonald's claim, holding that he did not document adequate proof to meet the threshold of a "serious impairment of bodily function." The higher court reversed, noting that the affidavits executed by MacDonald's doctors met the threshold for jury consideration and the trial judge exceeded his authority by weighing that evidence to determine the seriousness of the injury. The doctors included a board certified rehab specialist and a psychiatrist, and their opinions attested to a traumatic brain injury with permanent repercussions. Under the circumstances, it was now up to the jury to weigh the various doctors' testimony and decide whether MacDonald was "seriously" injured.