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One Court of Justice Blog

Jul 2017
27
July 27, 2017

MSC invalidates post hoc causation reasoning

Through an order in Lowery v. Enbridge Energy Limited Partnership, No 151600, the Michigan Supreme Court reversed the determination of the Court of Appeals and ordered summary disposition be entered in favor of the defendant, who was alleged to be liable for plaintiff's bodily injury caused by an oil spill.  The Court concluded that the plaintiff's expert's causation opinion was, essentially, that the plaintiff did not have problems before the spill, and that his health issues developed after the spill.  The Court found that this was fallacious post hoc reasoning and did not support a dispute of material fact on the required element of causation. Justice Markman, joined by Justices Zahra and Wilder, wrote an extensive concurring opinion detailing his view of the expert causation testimony necessary to sustain a toxic tort claim.   

Jan 2017
02
January 02, 2017

COA rules that water leaking from defective fridge was proximate cause in slip and fall case

In Stenzel v Best Buy Company Inc., and Samsung Electronics American, Inc., No. 328804, a slip-and-fall case, the Court of Appeals held the trial court erred in granting summary disposition on the basis that there was no cause in fact or proximate cause. 
 

Apr 2016
04
April 04, 2016

MSC to determine whether an expert witness must establish specific causation in a toxic tort case to defeat summary disposition

In Lowery v. Enbridge Energy Limited Partnership, No. 151600, the Michigan Supreme Court granted leave to appeal to determine whether a plaintiff in a toxic tort case sufficiently established causation through expert testimony that inferred the causal link between the incident and the injury.

 

Sep 2015
28
September 28, 2015

MSC reinstates JNOV based on failure to show proximate cause

In Moss v. Hutzel Women’s Hospital, No. 150397, the Michigan Supreme Court held that a mother failed to establish the proximate cause element of her negligence claim because the connection between her child’s cerebral palsy and his time of delivery was merely speculative.  Accordingly, the Court revsered the Court of Appeals and remanded with instructions that the trial court grant the delivering hospital's motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict.

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