The plaintiff, represented by attorney Mike Morse, alleged that he was injured in April 2015 when a passenger vehicle struck a parked SMART bus. He claimed that the collision caused neck, back, and shoulder injuries, and in the year following the incident, he underwent cervical and lumbar fusion procedures and a separate internal derangement surgery on his left shoulder.
The plaintiff sought first-party no-fault damages to cover his medical expenses, with a demand of $706,218. The parties submitted to case evaluation, where the panel recommended an award of $475,000. The defendant’s highest offer was $49,000. Unable to agree to a settlement, the parties proceeded to trial before Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Muriel Hughes.
The trial lasted seven days and included examinations of 23 witnesses, 11 of which were video depositions of expert and treating doctors. The jury deliberated for just 25 minutes, finding that the accident did not cause the plaintiff’s injuries and rendering a defense verdict in SMART’s favor.