On July 17, 2021, the plaintiff, a Colorado resident, was vacationing in northern Michigan. She was stopped on M-22, a two-lane road, waiting to make a left turn when she was rear ended at 65 mph and was pushed into oncoming traffic, which was also speeding. She was in a rental car and did not have Michigan PIP available to her. As an out-of-state resident, full economic loss was available in this third-party case under MCL 500.3135(3)(d), including medical expenses and wage/business loss.
The plaintiff sustained a cervical spinal cord injury, myelomalacia, resulting in a C4-C5 cervical fusion to stabilize and protect the spinal cord. She had preexisting degenerative changes in her right shoulder and with additional fraying. She had an arthroscopic scope to repair the rotator cuff, subacromial decompression, with bicep tendonitis. Her left knee had an incomplete tear of the ACL, tear of the posterior medial meniscus and a full-thickness tear of the proximal lateral collateral ligament; she had conservative treatment (six months of bracing) with full resolution. The plaintiff sustained a concussion with the majority of the cognitive fog and vision disturbance (diplopia) resolved with little treatment. With these various treatments, the plaintiff did have a nice recovery but still has some residuals.
The 67-year-old plaintiff is a pediatric physical therapist and owns her own clinic in Colorado. The plaintiff and her business did sustain business loss/loss of profits. The defense contested the duration and felt that the plaintiff was now able to put her business back on track given the state of her recovery. The plaintiff enjoys her profession by providing pool-based therapy to cerebral palsy children but is no longer able to do the traditional land-based therapy. The plaintiff remains optimistic that her residual shoulder problems (spasms and weakness from her neck into her shoulder) will improve which would allow her to return to a full case load.
Plaintiff’s counsel Bradley L. Putney provided case information.
Type of action: Automobile negligence
Injuries alleged: Spinal cord injury/myelomalacia, rotator cuff tear, ACL, meniscus tears and concussion
Name of case: Frasch v. Osborne
Court/Case no./Date: Manistee County Circuit Court; 21-17496-NI; 04/12/2023
Name of judge: Hon. David A. Thompson
Case evaluation: $862,500
Settlement amount: $862,500
Insurance carrier: USAA
Attorney for plaintiff: Bradley L. Putney, Traverse City