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Unformatted text preview: Burton
165 Mich. 293 (Mich. 1911)
Facts: Burton injured his knee while riding on the Detroit United Railroad Company, and sought medical treatment from Sherman, a physician. At the urging of Dr. Sherman, the two men made a written
contract that said Burton would pay Sherman one-third of any damages that Burton would receive
from his lawsuit against the Detroit United Railway Company. If the sum recovered was $2,000 or
more, Burton would also pay Sherman an additional $90. According to Burton, Sherman told him that
Burton’s knee was “bad” and may contain tuberculosis (yes, tuberculosis). Sherman also mentioned his
influence with the Detroit Railway Company, which Sherman said would pay Burton “many thousands
of dollars right away.” Sherman never mentioned the unique payment agreement to Burton until the
time Sherman asked that it be signed. Burton received an $1,800 settlement and paid Sherman $290
for his services. Burton claimed that he and Sherman finally agreed “to destroy the agreement,” and
that the amount Burton paid to Sher...
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