After a 3-day jury trial, attorneys MaryRachel Dysarz and Lauren A. Frederick obtained a no cause of action in a first-party no-fault provider case. This lawsuit for first-party no-fault benefits arose out of a November 6, 2015 motor vehicle accident, involving the claimant, Michelle Berg. Plaintiff, Vision Specialists of Michigan (as assignee for Michelle Berg), claimed that Defendant, Home-Owners Insurance Company, wrongfully refused to pay for services and treatment incurred for Berg’s care, recovery, or rehabilitation. More specifically, VSOM claimed that Berg sustained a brain injury as a result of the accident, which caused “vertical heterophoria” (a misalignment of the eyes). VSOM prescribed Berg fractional prismatic lenses, to correct her claimed condition. In support of its case, VSOM relied upon University of Michigan physical medicine and rehabilitation physician/brain injury specialist, Dr. Ryan Stork, as well as Dr. Debby Feinberg and Dr. Mark Rosner (co-owners of VSOM).
The defendant, Home-Owners Insurance Company, didn’t dispute that Berg’s medical records appeared to show that Berg sustained some sort of minor head injury. However, the emergency room records did not reveal any acute, traumatic findings. Moreover, Home-Owners relied upon a treating ophthalmologist, with whom Berg treated before the start of her treatment with VSOM. The treating ophthalmologist opined that Berg had an essentially normal eye exam and that not only were prismatic lenses not necessary, but they would have, in fact, caused Berg to suffer various vision-related issues. Home-Owners also relied upon Dr. Edward Cohn, a neuro-ophthalmologist, and Dr. Jacobus Donders, a neuro-psychologist, to dispute causation.
The jury rendered a no-cause verdict, finding that VSOM’s treatment was not reasonable or necessary.