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Klanseck v. Anderson Sales & Service, Inc.

Michigan Supreme Court
393 N.W.2d 356 (1986)


Facts

Stephen Klanseck (plaintiff) purchased a Honda GL 1000 motorcycle from Anderson Sales & Service, Inc. (Anderson) (defendant). After the sale, Klanseck was riding the motorcycle towards his home when it began to “fishtail.” Klanseck applied the brakes, the motorcycle slid sideways, and Klanseck fell off and sustained injuries. Klanseck received sutures in his left arm, was x-rayed, and he was later released. Twelve days later, Klanseck was diagnosed with a fracture of his right wrist and treated. Klanseck filed suit against Anderson claiming his injuries resulted in chronic pain and numbness in his left arm and hand which significantly interfered with his work as an auto mechanic and eventually resulted in a serious mental disorder. At trial, the court instructed the jury that a plaintiff has a duty to use ordinary care to minimize his own damages. Klanseck objected to the instruction because no evidence had been presented creating an issue that Klanseck had failed to mitigate his damages. Anderson countered that testimony from a neurologist Klanseck had seen about a year before recommended that Klanseck undergo diagnostic testing, an electromyelographic examination, and other tests to determine whether he had a herniated disk that was causing Klanseck to experience numbness and tingling in his hand, back, and legs. According to the neurologist’s testimony, Klanseck declined the recommended treatment. The jury found Klanseck 60 percent negligent and Anderson 40 percent negligent and reduced damages accordingly. Klanseck appealed. The court of appeals affirmed the decision of the trial court. The Michigan Supreme Court granted certiorari to review.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Williams, J.)

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  • A "yes" or "no" answer to the question framed in the issue section;
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  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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