VICTORY FOR MICHIGAN CONSUMERS!
COURT DENIES MCCA’S MOTION TO STAY FREEDOM
OF INFORMATION ACT LAWSUIT
At a hearing on February 28, 2013, Ingham County Judge Clinton Canady III delivered a victory for Michigan consumers by refusing to stay the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit the Coalition Protecting Auto No-Fault (CPAN) filed against the Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association (MCCA) to recover information relevant to the amount of money charged to Michigan motorists on their automobile insurance policies to cover catastrophic injury claims. The MCCA asked Judge Canady to stay the proceedings so that MCCA could pursue its appeal of Judge Canady’s Opinion dated December 26, 2012. In that Opinion, Judge Canady ruled that the MCCA was subject to FOIA, because the public has a right to access any information related to the calculation of the auto insurance premiums assessed by the MCCA that are ultimately passed on to consumers. To read more about Judge Canady’s December 26, 2012 opinion, please read the blog post authored by George T. Sinas, the senior partner of the Sinas Dramis Law Firm and general legal counsel for CPAN. In deciding to deny the MCCA’s motion to stay the lawsuit, Judge Canady reemphasized the belief he stated in his December Opinion that Michigan consumers have a constitutional right to the information the MCCA uses to decide how much money Michigan consumers must pay for their automobile insurance. Furthermore, Judge Canady’s decision is also significant, given that the auto insurance industry is arguing that the Michigan Auto No-Fault Insurance system can no longer afford to provide comprehensive medical coverage for auto accidents, because of the financial exposure of the MCCA. Now, we have a better chance of finding out whether that is truly the case.