Previously injured man cannot have suffered a serious impairment
Three of the more conservative Judges on Michigan's Court of Appeals recently held that a previously disabled man could not suffer a "serious impairment of bodily function" as a matter of law. Theon Crumpler had suffered a head injury in a motor vehicle collision in 1986 and required 24-hour attendant care because of his difficulty walking and his need for help with the requirements of daily living. When he suffered additional injuries in a 2001 accident, the Court held that his difficulties with seizures, with standing or with negotiating stairs, and with fine motor tasks, were not adequate to constitute a "serious impairment" of his already disabled life. The judges said that his already-humbled life was not "materially altered". That might depend on the perspective from which it was viewed, we suspect. In any event, the jury was not allowed to make that decision.