Bryan Padgett & Danielle DePriest Obtain No-Cause Verdict in "Serious Impairment" Case

Zausmer attorneys Bryan Padgett and Danielle DePriest recently convinced a Wayne County jury that a plaintiff involved in a 2015 car accident was not entitled to any monetary damages because she failed to show that she sustained a “serious impairment of body function.”

The plaintiff claimed that she suffered injuries to her neck, back, and knee as the result of a motor vehicle accident on January 27, 2015. Though our clients admitted fault for the accident, Bryan and Danielle disputed the nature and extent of the plaintiff’s alleged injuries.

At trial, the plaintiff alleged that her pain prevented her from returning to work for several months, caused her to fail her college courses, required that her sister help with feeding and personal needs, and made it uncomfortable to sit for long periods of time. Bryan and Danielle’s investigation into the plaintiff’s case revealed a much different story.

Three independent medical examinations yielded no objective evidence to support the plaintiff’s subjective pain complaints. And the radiologist from the hospital testified that a full diagnostic workup performed on the day of the accident was negative.

Through evidence and cross-examination of the plaintiff and her sister, Bryan and Danielle established that the plaintiff was able to babysit three-year-old twins, go shopping, and travel to Northern Michigan as well as Syria (for 40 days) with her family after the accident. The jury also viewed videos and pictures posted to YouTube and Facebook showing the plaintiff dancing in high heels at clubs on multiple occasions after the accident.

The plaintiff asked the jury for $275,000 to compensate for her pain and suffering. After just 35 minutes of deliberation, the seven-person jury unanimously agreed that she did not sustain a serious impairment of a body function as required under Michigan law, and delivered a no-cause verdict.

Bryan Padgett

Danielle DePriest


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