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Federal Court rejects Michigan "reform" procedure on head injuries

In the recent Shropshire v. Laidlaw Transit decision, a panel of Sixth Circuit judges refused to follow Michigan "reform" procedures addressing how auto no fault head injury cases should be pursued.  Shropshire involved an alleged head injury suffered by a five-year old in a collision with a bus operated by Defendant.  Head injuries can be notoriously difficult to quantify when a young child is involved.

Michigan legislators attempted to codify the manner in which judges would assess head injury claims when gauging "serious impairment": they created a procedure by which the alleged injury victim must file a medical affidavit confirming the presence of a possible head injury.  If a suitable medical specialist confirmed the potential injury, the case would be resolved by a jury--even if no medical specialist had confirmed the "probability" of a serious injury. 

In Shropshire, The Sixth Circuit Federal judges noted that they were not bound by this rule of procedure and refused to give cognizance to the affidavit confirming a head injury.   Despite numerous objective symptoms including an abnormal EEG, the young victim's claim was dismissed because her attorneys had not documented an "impairment" that affected her "general ability to lead [her] normal life".

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