DANIEL FRANTZ V DR'S BLUM & SACK PCAnnotate this Case
STATE OF MICHIGAN
COURT OF APPEALS
December 1, 1998
DRS. BLUM & SACK, P.C., d/b/a FAMILY CARE
PHYSICIANS, FAMILY CARE PHYSICIANS,
P.C., and DEL M. LAVIOLETTE,
Oakland Circuit Court
LC No. 95-491990 NH
Before: Sawyer, P.J., and Wahls and Hoekstra, JJ.
Plaintiff Daniel Frantz appeals of right from a judgment of no cause of action entered after a jury
trial. We affirm. This appeal is being decided without oral argument pursuant to MCR 7.214(E).
Dr. Sack’s medical assistant, Del Laviolette, administered a dorsal gluteal injection of
terramycin to plaintiff. One or two days later plaintiff began experiencing pain and tingling radiating
down his right leg. Sack opined that plaintiff was suffering from inflammation of the sciatic nerve, a
condition possibly related to the injection. Eventually, plaintiff developed deep vein thrombosis, which
was successfully treated.
Plaintiff filed suit. At trial, Laviolette testified that if a dorsal gluteal injection of terramycin is
given in the proper manner, damage to the sciatic nerve should not occur. Various witnesses stated that
even if the injection is given in the proper manner, damage to the sciatic nerve can occur if the
terramycin infiltrates the nerve via soft tissue. Such infiltration does not indicate that an improper
technique was used. Plaintiff’s expert opined that the injection was given in an improper manner
because injury, including damage from infiltration, is not expected if proper technique is used.
Defendants’ expert witness opined that if plaintiff did not feel immediate pain from the injection, proper
technique was used, and the damage resulted from infiltration.
Plaintiff moved for a directed verdict on the issues of negligence and proximate cause. Plaintiff
relied on Laviolette’s testimony that if the injection was given properly, then damage to the sciatic nerve
should not occur. The trial court denied the motion, noting that there was testimony to the effect that the
injection was given properly, and that damage could occur via infiltration under such circumstances.
On appeal, plaintiff argues that his motion for directed verdict and the verdict were against the
great weight of the evidence. Because it was undisputed that the sciatic nerve had been damaged by
terramycin, the only proper conclusion the jury could have reached was that the injection was given in
an improper manner.
Plaintiff’s claim that the verdict was against the great weight of the evidence is waived because
he did not make a motion for new trial. DeGroot v Barber, 198 Mich App 48, 54; 497 NW2d 530
(1993). Plaintiff’s challenge to the sufficiency of the evidence was preserved by the motion for directed
verdict. Napier v Jacobs, 429 Mich 222, 229; 414 NW2d 862 (1987).
When the evidence presented could lead reasonable jurors to disagree, the trial court must not
substitute its judgment for that of the jury, and should deny a motion for directed verdict. Lamson v
Martin (After Remand), 216 Mich App 452, 455; 549 NW2d 878 (1996). This Court reviews the
grant or denial of a directed verdict de novo. Meagher v Wayne State Univ, 222 Mich App 700,
707-708; 565 NW2d 401 (1997).
We affirm the judgment entered upon the verdict. The trial court did not err by denying
plaintiff’s motion for a directed verdict. Contrary to plaintiff’s assertion, the evidence did not support
only one conclusion, i.e., that the injection was administered in an improper manner. Some witnesses
opined that the injection had been given in the proper manner, that the damage to the sciatic nerve
occurred because the terramycin infiltrated the sciatic nerve via soft tissue, and that such infiltration was
not the result of the injection having been administered improperly. The jury’s verdict was supported by
sufficient evidence. Reasonable persons could disagree as to whether the injection was given in an
improper manner. The question was properly left to the jury. Mull v Equitable Life Assurance
Society, 196 Mich App 411, 421; 493 NW2d 447 (1992).
/s/ David H. Sawyer
/s/ Myron H. Wahls
/s/ Joel P. Hoekstra