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Dementia was not caused by underlying accident: defense








Lenawee County


Lenawee County, Circuit Court, Lenawee

Injury Type(s):

arm-fracture, arm;
arm-fracture, humerus;
head; head-concussion; brain-coma; brain-subdural hematoma; brain-traumatic brain injury; other-plate; other-unconsciousness; other-pins/rods/screws; shoulder-fracture, shoulder;
surgeries/treatment-open reduction; surgeries/treatment-internal fixation

Case Type:

Motor Vehicle – Crosswalk, Pedestrian; Insurance – First-party Benefits; Motor Vehicle – Automobile Insurance

Case Name:

Georganna Rodgers v. Michael Allen Curtis and Auto Owners Insurance Company,
No. 15-5400-NF


January 5, 2018



Georganna Rodgers (Female, 62 Years)

Plaintiff Attorney(s):

Steven J. Matz;
Matz & Pietsch P.C.;
Georganna Rodgers

Plaintiff Expert(s):

Per Okey; M.D.; Family Medicine; Clinton,
MI called by:
Steven J. Matz ■ Adil Ali; M.D.; Physical Medicine; Ypsilanti,
MI called by:
Steven J. Matz ■ Denyce Kerner; Ph.D.; Neuropsychology; Ann Arbor,
MI called by:
Steven J. Matz ■ Steven Sherman; M.D.; Neurology; Adrian,
MI called by:
Steven J. Matz ■ Bradley Sewick; Ph.D.; Neuropsychology; Southfield,
MI called by:
Steven J. Matz


Michael Allen Curtis, 

Auto Owners Insurance Co.

Defense Attorney(s):

John W. Whitman;
Garan Lucow Miller, PC;
Ann Arbor,
Auto Owners Insurance Co. ■ None reported;
Michael Allen Curtis

Defendant Expert(s):

Brian Chodoroff;
Physical Medicine;
MI called by:
John W. Whitman ■ Rhonda Levy-Larson;
Farmington Hills,
MI called by:
John W. Whitman ■ Anthony Emmer;
MI called by:
John W. Whitman


Auto Owners Insurance Co.


On June 10, 2014, plaintiff Georganna Rodgers, 62, retired, was walking across Lansing Road in Lenawee when she was struck by a vehicle operated by Michael Allen Curtis. Rodgers claimed she injured her head and right shoulder, and also developed dementia. Rodgers sued Curtis, alleging Curtis was negligent in the operation of his vehicle. Rodgers also sued her own insurance carrier, Auto Owners Insurance Co., for no-fault personal injury protection benefits. Rodgers alleged that Curtis failed to slow at the crosswalk as she crossed the street. She also argued that Curtis failed to keep a proper lookout and failed to yield. Curtis conceded liability, but was uninsured and was dismissed from the case. Auto Owners disputed injury causation.


Rodgers was rendered briefly unconscious by the impact at the scene. Rodgers was transported by ambulance to a local emergency room. She had a Glasgow Coma Scale score of 15 at the scene and in the emergency room. She was diagnosed with a subdural hematoma and a fracture of the upper humerus shaft in right dominant arm. She underwent open reduction with internal fixation, with a plate and screws implanted to repair shoulder fracture. Rodgers claimed she suffered a traumatic brain injury and dementia. Rodgers claimed she requires 24 hours of attendant care per day. Rodgers’ treating doctors opined that Rodgers’ dementia was caused by the subject accident. They also opined that Rodgers will need future attendant care for the rest of her life. Rodgers sought to recover $1 million to $1.4 million in damages. The defense’s medical experts opined that Rodgers’ claimed dementia was not caused by the subject accident. The experts noted that Rodgers was diagnosed with dementia two months after the accident and argued that a mild traumatic brain injury could not have caused dementia or exacerbated underlying dementia. They also disputed Rodgers’ claim that she requires 24-hour per day attendant care and asserted that she, instead, only needs six hours per day of care. Moreover, the experts stated that Rodgers is able to perform most of her activities of daily living and her family provides about three to four hours of attendant care per day.


The jury determined that Rodgers’ damages totaled $38,495.

Trial Information:


Anna Marie Anzalone

Trial Length:


Trial Deliberations:


Editor’s Comment:

This report is based on information that was provided by plaintiff’s counsel. Auto Owners Insurance’s counsel did not respond to the reporter’s phone calls. Curtis’ counsel was not asked to contribute.