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Welcome to the Michigan Auto No-Fault Law Digital Library

The Michigan No-Fault Act was adopted in 1973, and since then, there have been over 4000 Michigan appellate court opinions regarding the law. Sinas Dramis Law Firm has written case summaries regarding virtually all these opinions and continues to do so at the present time. The Michigan Auto No-Fault Law Digital Library is a compilation of all the case summaries from Sinas Dramis Law Firm. The case summaries are freely provided to further our goal of educating the public about the Michigan Auto No-Fault Law.

The Digital Library is fully searchable. Therefore, searching by case name or relevant terms is a good way to find the case summary and opinion. There is also an indexing system that allows you to find a case through a statutory indextopical indexalphabetical index, or chronological index.


To make it easy for the public to understand the latest developments in the law, the recent case summaries are listed below.

Recent Cases

Elzein v American Country Ins Co (COA – UNP 8/18/2022; RB #4464)   
In this unanimous, unpublished, per curiam decision, the Court of Appeals reversed the trial court’s summary disposition order dismissing Plaintiff Moe Elzein’s first-party action against Defendant American Country Insurance Company (“ACIC”).  Relying on Haydaw v Farm Bureau Ins Co, 332 Mich App 719 (2020), the Court of Appeals held that ACIC could not invoke its policy’s antifraud provision based on fraudulent statements Elzein made during the course of litigation.

Zubovich v Buell, et al (COA – UNP 8/11/2022; RB #4462)   
In this unanimous, unpublished, per curiam decision, the Court of Appeals reversed the trial court’s denial of Defendant June Louise Buell’s motion for summary disposition, in which she sought dismissal of Plaintiff Oleg Zubovich’s auto negligence action against her.  The Court of Appeals held that Zubovich’s action was barred by the Workers Compensation Disability Act (WDCA), MCL 418.101, et seq., because Buell and Zubovich were co-employees, both acting in the course and scope of their employment, at the time Buell struck Zubovich with her vehicle.

Oliver v Esurance Ins Co, et al (COA – UNP 8/11/2022; RB #4461)   
In this unanimous, unpublished, per curiam decision, the Court of Appeals reversed the trial court’s summary disposition order dismissing Plaintiff Marian Oliver’s first-party action against Defendant Esurance Insurance Company (“Esurance”).  The Court of Appeals held that because Oliver’s right to no-fault PIP benefits related to the subject accident was statutory, not contractual (she was riding as a passenger in her brother-in-law’s vehicle, which was insured by Esurance, at the time), Esurance could not invoke the policy’s antifraud provision to deny all Oliver’s claims for benefits, even those not implicated by her alleged fraud, to which she would otherwise be statutorily entitled under the no-fault act.  The Court of Appeals also held that a question of fact existed as to whether Oliver’s injuries were caused by the subject accident for purposes of MCL 500.3105.

Holman v Farm Bureau Gen Ins Co, et al (COA – PUB 8/4/2022; RB #4460)   
In this unanimous, published decision authored by Judge Shapiro, the Court of Appeals reversed the trial court’s summary disposition order dismissing Plaintiff Lawrence Holman’s negligence action against Defendant Jonathan Heinzman, an insurance agent, based on misrepresentations Heinzman allegedly made on an application for no-fault coverage that he executed and submitted to Farm Bureau General Insurance Company (“Farm Bureau”) on Holman’s behalf.  The Court of Appeals held that Holman’s action against Heinzman was not barred by collateral estoppel, even though Holman’s prior first-party action against Farm Bureau, Holman I, was dismissed as a result of the same misrepresentations.  In Holman I, the Court held that Farm Bureau was entitled to rescission of Holman’s policy regardless of who was responsible for the misrepresentations, because Holman had a duty to know the contents of the application he signed.  Holman I did not stand for the proposition, however, that an insured who signs an application that contains misrepresentations is  precluded from filing a tort action against the insurance agent who prepared the application.  Thus, in this case, the Court of Appeals held that a question of fact existed as to whether Heinzman breached his duty, as an insurance agent, to accurately prepare Holman’s application for coverage and to not contribute false information thereto.

Ferriole v City of Detroit, et al (COA – UNP 7/28/2022; RB #4458)   
In this unanimous, unpublished, per curiam decision, the Court of Appeals reversed the trial court’s denial of Defendant City of Detroit’s motion for summary disposition, in which the City sought dismissal of the auto negligence action Plaintiff Vanessa Ferriole’s brought against it pursuant to the motor vehicle exception governmental immunity.  The Court of Appeals held that Casey Schimeck, a City of Detroit police officer, acted with reasonable care under the circumstances when she drove through a red light while responding to an emergency call, which resulted in her police cruiser T-boning Ferriole’s vehicle.

Great Lakes Pain & Injury Chiropractic Ctr, et al v Farm Bureau Mut Ins Co of Mich (COA – UNP 7/28/2022; RB #4457)   
In this unanimous, unpublished, per curiam decision, the Court of Appeals reversed the trial court’s summary disposition order dismissing Plaintiff William Jones’s first-party action against Defendant Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Company of Michigan (“Farm Bureau”).  The Court of Appeals held that Farm Bureau—the servicing insurer assigned Jones’s claim for no-fault PIP benefits related to the subject crash by the Michigan Automobile Insurance Placement Facility (MAIPF)—could not deny Jones’s claim based solely on his failure to cooperate with the MAIPF’s eligibility determination.  MCL 500.3173a(1) only allows a servicing insurer to ‘suspend benefits’ until a claimant begins cooperating or resumes cooperating.

Payton v Meemic Ins Co, et al (COA – UNP 7/28/2022; RB #4456)   
In this unanimous, unpublished, per curiam decision, the Court of Appeals reversed the trial court’s order granting summary disposition to Plaintiff Johnny Payton in Payton’s declaratory action against Defendant Meemic Insurance Company (“Meemic”), and remanded for entry of an order granting summary disposition in Meemic’s favor.  The Court of Appeals held that the vehicle Payton was operating when he crashed into a bicyclist was not covered under his automobile insurance policy with Meemic, and thus he did not provide him with bodily injury liability coverage related to the crash.

Middleton v Temple, et al (COA – UNP 7/28/2022; RB #4455)   
In this unanimous, unpublished, per curiam decision, the Court of Appeals reversed the trial court’s denial of Defendants Kenneth Arthur Temple’s and Ogemaw County EMS’s motions for summary disposition, seeking dismissal of Plaintiff Denise Ann Middleton’s auto negligence action against them.  The Court of Appeals held that Middleton failed to present sufficient evidence to create a question of fact as to whether Temple—an EMS driver who Middleton crashed into in an intersection—breached his duty of care as the driver of an authorized emergency vehicle by failing to sufficiently brake before entering the intersection under a red light.

Abraham v State Farm Mut Auto Ins Co, et al (COA – PUB 7/28/2022; RB #4453)
In this unanimous, published decision authored by Judge Hood, the Court of Appeals reversed the trial court’s order granting summary disposition to Defendant Enterprise Leasing Company of Detroit, LLC (“Enterprise”) in a priority dispute between Enterprise and Defendant State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company (“State Farm”). State Farm’s insured, Plaintiff Amber Abraham, was injured in a car accident while driving a vehicle in the course and scope of her employment with Nexen Corporation (“Nexen”). Enterprise held legal title to the vehicle but leased it to Nexen over a continuous period of six months, through a series of successive 28-day lease agreements. The Court of Appeals held that based on these specific facts, Enterprise was first in priority for payment of Abraham’s no-fault PIP benefits, because Nexen did not have no-fault insurance of its own, and because Enterprise was an “insurer” of the vehicle for purposes of MCL 500.3114(3), based on the definition of “insurer” set forth in Turner v Farmers Ins Exch, 507 Mich 858 (2021): “one who provides no-fault insurance to an owner or registrant of the vehicle.”

Criswell v Avis Rent A Car System, LLC, et al (COA – UNP 7/28/2022; RB #4454)
In this unanimous, unpublished, per curiam decision, the Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court’s summary disposition order dismissing Plaintiff Lakina Criswell’s first-party action against Defendant Avis Rent A Car System, LLC (“Avis”). The Court of Appeals held that under MCL 500.3113(a), Criswell was barred from receiving no-fault PIP benefits related to the subject car accident because she was operating an unlawfully taken Avis rental vehicle at the time of the accident. The vehicle had been rented by her cousin who, after picking up Criswell to go shopping, suddenly claimed that she needed to go to the hospital, prompting Criswell to switch seats with her and assume operation of the vehicle, shortly after which they were involved in the subject accident. The Court of Appeals reasoned that because Criswell was not an authorized driver of the rental vehicle, the vehicle was taken unlawfully by her, and therefore, she was disqualified from no-fault PIP benefits under MCL 500.3113(a).

Wilson v Citizens Ins Co of the Midwest (COA – UNP 7/21/2022; RB #4452)
In this unanimous, unpublished, per curiam decision, the Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court’s summary disposition order dismissing Plaintiff Rosita Ann Wilson’s first-party action against Defendant Citizens Insurance Company of the Midwest (“Citizens”). The Court of Appeals held that Wilson was not entitled to no-fault PIP benefits related to the injuries she sustained after slipping in her driveway while attempting to unload a TV from her parked vehicle, because (1) she was not in direct physical contact with the TV at the moment she slipped for purposes of MCL 500.3106(1)(b), and (2) she was not alighting from her vehicle at the moment she slipped for purposes of MCL 500.3106(1)(c).

Maple Manor Rehab Center of Novi, Inc, et al v Travelers Cas & Surety Co (COA – UNP 7/21/2022; RB #4451)
In this unanimous, unpublished, per curiam decision, the Court of Appeals affirmed in part, and reversed in part, the trial court’s order granting Plaintiffs Maple Manor Rehab Center of Novi, Inc. (“Maple Manor Rehab”) and Maple Manor Neuro Center, Inc.’s (“Maple Manor Neuro”) motion for summary disposition, and denying Defendant Travelers Casualty & Surety Company’s (“Travelers”) motion for summary disposition. The Court of Appeals held, first, that a “hold-harmless agreement” entered into by the plaintiffs and their assignor, James Bourdage, did not render the charges Bourdage incurred for the treatment he received from the plaintiffs “un-incurred,” such that the plaintiffs would not be able to seek reimbursement from Travelers pursuant to the assignment they obtained from Bourdage. The Court of Appeals held, second, that the plaintiffs could seek benefits dating back as far as March 4, 2015—even though they were not substituted for Bourdage as the plaintiffs in this case until after September 14, 2018—because Bourdage and Travelers had entered into a prior litigation agreement in which they explicitly agreed that Bourdage could pursue benefits dating back to March 4, 2015. The Court of Appeals held, third, that Maple Manor Neuro, an entity created by Maple Manor Rehab to perform Maple Manor Rehab’s billing and accounting, could be a co-assignee of Bourdage’s right to pursue PIP benefits related to the treatment he received from Maple Manor Rehab. The Court of Appeals held, fourth, that the trial court erred in granting summary disposition in the plaintiffs’ favor on the issue of “reasonable charges,” despite evidence that the plaintiffs and Travelers negotiated the rate for Bourdage’s care and explicitly agreed on a specific amount. This evidence, alone, did not establish that the agreed upon rate was, in fact, “reasonable”; moreover, the Court held that Travelers did not have sufficient opportunity to address this issue in response the plaintiffs’ motion. The Court of Appeals held, fifth, that the trial court did not abuse its discretion by denying Travelers’ motion to exclude evidence related to the agreement it entered into with the plaintiffs to pay for Bourdage’s care at a negotiated rate, because Travelers failed to offer a compelling basis for why such evidence should be excluded.

Griffin v Trumbull Ins Co, et al (MSC – PUB 7/15/2022; RB #4450)
In this 4 -3 decision authored by Justice Welch (Zahra, Viviano, Clement, dissenting), the Michgan Supreme Court reversed the Court of Appeals’ affirmance of the trial court’s summary disposition order in favor of Defendant Trumbill Insurance Company (“Trumbull”). The Supreme Court held that Plaintiff Willie Griffin, an injured motorcyclist, exercised sufficient due diligence in attempting to identify the no-fault insurer of the vehicle that hit him before turning to pursing a claim for PIP benefits through the Michigan Assigned Claims Plan.

Kodra v American Select Ins Co (COA – UNP 6/23/2022; RB #44341)   
In this unanimous, unpublished, per curiam decision, the Court of Appeals reversed the trial court’s denial of Defendant American Select Insurance Company’s (“American Select”) motion for summary disposition, in which American Select sought dismissal of Plaintiff Dirina Kodra’s first-party action against it.  The Court of Appeals held that Kodra made a material misrepresentation in her original application for no-fault insurance with American Select, and that American Select was entitled to rescind her policy and deny her claim thereunder as a result.

Bronson Health Care Group, Inc v Falls Lake Nat’l Ins Co, et al (COA – UNP 6/23/2022; RB #4442)   
In this unanimous, unpublished, per curiam decision, the Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court’s summary disposition order in favor of Plaintiff Bronson Health Care Group, Inc. (“Bronson”), in Bronson’s first-party action against Defendant Falls Lake National Insurance Company (“Falls Lake”).  The Court of Appeals held that Falls Lake failed to properly cancel the subject no-fault policy in the way prescribed by MCL 500.3020(1)(b), and thus remained responsible for payment of Bronson’s patient’s no-fault PIP benefits at the time of the subject motor vehicle-versus-pedestrian accident—approximately four months after Falls Lake’s attempted cancellation.  The Court of Appeals held, second, that the policy was not “effectively canceled”—such as would excuse Falls Lake’s failure to comply with MCL 500.3020(1)(b)—by its insured cashing the policy cancellation/premium refund check.  The Court of Appeals held, third, that summary disposition was properly granted in Bronson’s favor as to the issue of whether its charges were reasonable, because Falls Lake presented no evidence in support of its argument to the contrary.  The Court of Appeals held, fourth, that the trial court did not abuse its discretion in awarding Bronson no-fault attorney fees based on its finding that Falls Lake’s denial of Bronson’s claim for PIP benefits was unreasonable, in light of the facts surrounding Falls Lake’s attempted cancelation of the policy. 

Mitchner v Progressive Mich Ins Co, et al (COA – UNP 6/23/2022; RB #4443)   
In this 2-1 (Gadola, dissenting), unpublished, per curiam decision, the Court of Appeals reversed the trial court’s summary disposition order dismissing Plaintiff Gordon Mitchner’s third-party auto negligence action against Defendant Thomas Gaffney.  The Court of Appeals held that Mitchner presented sufficient evidence to create a question of fact as to whether he suffered a serious impairment of body function as a result of the subject motor vehicle crash.  Specifically, the Court held that there was a question of fact regarding the first and third prongs of the test for serious impairment of body function set forth in McCormick v Carrier, 487 Mich 180 (2010)—whether Gaffney sustained an objectively manifested impairment which affected his general ability to lead his normal life—as well as a question of fact on the issue of causation.

Alesevic v Gordon, et al (COA – UNP 6/23/2022; RB #4446)   
In this unanimous, unpublished, per curiam decision, the Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court’s summary disposition order dismissing Plaintiff Haris Alesevic’s first-party action against Defendant Acceptance Indemnity Insurance Company (“Acceptance”).  The Court of Appeals held that Defendant Progressive Michigan Insurance Company (“Progressive”)—Alesevic’s no-fault insurer—was solely responsible for Alesevic’s PIP benefits related to the subject motor vehicle accident, because Alesevic’s separate bobtail policy with Acceptance did not provide no-fault coverage.

Greiwe v Hamilton, et al (COA – UNP 6/23/2022; RB #4444)   
In this unanimous, unpublished, per curiam decision, the Court of Appeals reversed the trial court’s denial of Defendant Meemic Insurance Company’s (“Meemic”) motion for summary disposition, in which Meemic sought dismissal of Plaintiff Alexus Greiwe’s claim for underinsured motorist (UIM) benefits against it.  The Court of Appeals held that Greiwe was ineligible for UIM benefits related to the subject car crash because the driver who caused the crash was not driving an ‘underinsured motor vehicle’ as that term was defined in the Meemic policy.

Barash, et al v Kolar, et al (COA – UNP 6/23/2022; RB #4445)
In this unanimous, unpublished, per curiam decision, the Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court’s summary disposition order dismissing Plaintiff Jamil Barash’s third-party auto negligence action against Defendant Joseph Kolar.  The Court of Appeals held that Plaintiff failed to present sufficient evidence to create a question of fact as to the first prong of the test for serious impairment of body function set forth in McCormick v Carrier, 487 Mich App 180 (2010)—whether he sustained an objectively manifested impairment as a result of the subject collision. 

Zeliasko v Al-Dorough, et al (COA – UNP 6/16/2022; RB #4438)   
In this 2-1 (Murray, dissenting), unpublished, per curiam decision, the Court of Appeals vacated the trial court’s summary disposition order dismissing Plaintiff Emily Zeliasko’s third-party auto negligence action against Defendant Abdulkareem Al-Dorough.  The Court of Appeals held that Zeliasko presented sufficient evidence to create a question of fact as to whether she suffered a serious impairment of body function as a result of being rear-ended by Al-Dorough.  Specifically, the Court held that a question of fact existed as to the first and third prongs of the test for serious impairment of body function set forth in McCormick v Carrier, 487 Mich 180 (2010) and codified in MCL 500.3135(5): whether Zeliasko sustained an objectively manifested impairment, and whether any such impairment affected Zeliasko’s general ability to lead her normal life.

Mich Head and Spine Institute, PC, et al v Mid-Century Ins Co, et al (COA – UNP 6/16/2022; RB #4436)  
In this unanimous, unpublished, per curiam decision, the Court of Appeals reversed the trial court’s denial of Defendant Mid-Century Insurance Company’s (“Mid-Century”) motion for summary disposition, in which Mid-Century sought dismissal of Plaintiff Michigan Head and Spine Institute’s (“MHSI”) first-party action against it.  The Court of Appeals held that the subject Mid-Century no-fault policy did not offer broader coverage than what is required by the no-fault act—specifically, the Court held that the policy’s definition of “insured” did not operate to extend coverage to an individual who would otherwise not have been able to claim no-fault PIP benefits from Mid-Century under the priority scheme set forth in MCL 500.3114.

Cherry v Progressive Marathon Ins Co (COA – UNP 6/16/2022; RB #4439)   
In this unanimous, unpublished, per curiam decision, the Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court’s summary disposition order dismissing Plaintiff Christopher Cherry’s first-party action against Defendant Progressive Marathon Insurance Company (“Progressive”).  The Court of Appeals held that the 2019 amendments (2019 PA 21) to the no-fault act—specifically, that which added the “formal denial” tolling provision to MCL 500.3145(3)—did not apply retroactively.  Thus, Cherry’s action seeking to recover no-fault PIP benefits he incurred more than one-year prior—and prior to the effective date of the 2019 amendments—was barred pursuant to the former one-year-back rule.

Pellegrino v State Farm Mut Auto Ins Co, et al (COA – UNP 6/16/2022; RB #44345)   
In this unanimous, unpublished, per curiam decision, the Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court’s judgment of no cause of action following a jury trial in Plaintiff Antoinette Pellegrino’s first-party action against Defendant State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company (“State Farm”).  The Court of Appeals held, first, that the trial court did not abuse its discretion by excluding evidence related to State Farm’s handling of Pellegrino’s claim for no-fault PIP benefits, because such evidence was not relevant to the central issue in this case: whether Pellegrino’s injuries were caused by the subject motor vehicle accidents.  The Court of Appeals held, second, that the jury’s verdict was not against the great weight of the evidence, considering Pellegrino had a history of back and neck problems predating the accidents, and one doctor testified at trial that her injuries were entirely degenerative.

Mich Ambulatory Surgical Ctr v Liberty Mut Ins Co (COA – UNP 6/16/2022; RB #4436)   
In this unanimous, unpublished, per curiam decision, the Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court’s summary disposition order dismissing Plaintiff Michigan Ambulatory Surgical Center’s (“MASC”) first-party action against Defendant Liberty Mutual Insurance Company (“Liberty Mutual”), in which MASC sought to recover unpaid no-fault PIP benefits related to medical treatment it provided to its assignor/Liberty Mutual’s insured.  The Court of Appeals held that MASC failed to present sufficient evidence to rebut Liberty Mutual’s argument that MASC had double-billed for certain of its services. 

Mecosta Co Med Ctr v Metropolitan Grop Prop and Cas Ins Co (SC – PUB 6/10/2022; RB #4434)   
In this unanimous decision authored by Justice Viviano, the Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the Court of Appeals, which held that Plaintiff Mecosta County Medical Center’s (“Mecosta”) first-party action seeking no-fault PIP benefits from Defendant Metropolitan Group Property and Casualty Insurance Company (“Metropolitan”) was not barred by either res judicata or collateral estoppel.  The Supreme Court held that Mecosta, Jacob Myers’s assignee, was not bound by the judgment in Myers’s separate first-party action against Metropolitan, because Mecosta obtained its assignment before the judgment in that action was entered.  Thus, an assignee cannot be bound by a subsequent adjudication involving the assignor.

New Horizon Chiropractic PLLC v State Farm Mut Auto Ins Co (COA – UNP 6/9/2022; RB #4432)   
In this unanimous, unpublished, per curiam decision, the Court of Appeals reversed the trial court’s denial of Defendant State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company’s (“State Farm”) motion for summary disposition—in which State Farm sought dismissal of Plaintiff New Horizon Chriopractic PLLC’s (“New Horizon”) first-party action against it—and remanded for entry of an order granting State Farm’s motion.  The Court of Appeals held that New Horizon, Darryl White’s assignee, was barred from bringing its action against State Farm because State Farm and White settled all White’s claims for no-fault PIP benefits related to the subject motor vehicle accident before New Horizon notified State Farm of the assignments.

Nationwide Mut Fire Ins Co v Cincinnati Ins Co (COA – UNP 6/9/2022; RB #4433)   
In this unanimous, unpublished, per curiam decision, the Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court’s summary disposition order dismissing Plaintiff Nationwide Mutual Fire Insurance Company’s (“Nationwide”) action for reimbursement against Defendant Cincinnati Insurance Company (“Cincinnati”) for no-fault PIP benefits Nationwide paid to Deontae McKissick and Michael Witcher.  The Court of Appeals held that, based on the unique facts of the case, Cincinnati was not an insurer in the order of priority for payment of McKissick’s and Witcher’s no-fault PIP benefits relative to the subject motor vehicle accident, and, therefore, Nationwide —the insurer assigned to McKissick’s and Witcher’s claims by the Michigan Assigned Claims Plan (MACP)—was not entitled to reimbursement from Cincinnati for the benefits it paid to McKissick and Witcher.

Jones v Smith (COA – UNP 6/9/2022; RB #4431)   
In this 2-1, unpublished, per curiam decision (Murray, dissenting), the Court of Appeals reversed the trial court’s summary disposition order dismissing Plaintiff Ricky Jones’s third-party auto negligence action against Defendant Ashley Smith.  The Court of Appeals held that a question of fact existed as to whether Jones satisfied the first and third prongs of the test for serious impairment of body function set forth in McCormick v Carrier, 487 Mich 180 (2010): specifically, whether Jones sustained an objectively manifested impairment as a result of the subject collision, which affected his general ability to lead his normal life.

Deda v Winters, et al (COA – UNP 6/9/2022; RB #4430)   
In this unanimous, unpublished, per curiam decision, the Court of Appeals reversed the trial court’s summary disposition order dismissing Plaintiff Preng Deda’s third-party auto negligence action against Defendant Louis Joseph Winters and remanded for further proceedings consistent with its opinion.  The Court of Appeals held that a question of fact existed as to whether Winters was negligent in rear-ending Deda’s vehicle on the highway, or whether Deda unexpectedly swerved into Winters’s lane and slammed on his brakes in front of Winters, thereby creating a sudden emergency for Winters. 

Pete’s Auto and Truck Parts, Inc, et al v Greg Hibbitts Transp Co, et al (COA – UNP 6/9/2022; RB #4429) 
In this unanimous, unpublished, per curiam decision, the Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court’s summary disposition orders dismissing Plaintiff Pete’s Auto and Truck Parts, Inc.’s (“Pete’s”) first-party action for no-fault property protection (“PPI”) benefits against Defendant Fremont Insurance Company (“Fremont”), as well as Pete’s third-party negligence action against Defendants Greg Hibbitts Transport Company and Stewart TRK, LLC (“GHTC” and “Stewart,” respectively, individually; “the Hibbitts defendants,” collectively).  The building Pete’s leased for its business operations was damaged after the engine of a semi-truck owned by the Hibbitts defendants and insured by Fremont caught fire while parked outside of it.  The Court of Appeals held, first, that Pete’s property damages arose out of the use of a motor vehicle as a motor vehicle and that Pete’s tort claims against the Hibbitts defendants, therefore, were properly dismissed pursuant to MCL 500.3135(3).  In so holding, the Court of Appeals applied Dye v Esurance Prop & Cas Ins Co, 504 Mich 167 (2019) retroactively to find that GHTC—the registered owner of the truck in question—maintained no-fault security on the truck for purposes of MCL 500.3101(1), even though the named insured on the policy which covered the truck was “Stewart Trucking, LLC,” a different entity owned by GHTC’s owner.  As for Pete’s PPI claim against Fremont, the Court of Appeals held that Pete failed to file suit within one year of the accident and that his action was therefore barred by MCL 500.3145(5).  

Williams v State Farm Mut Auto Ins Co, et al (COA – UNP 6/9/2022; RB #4428)   
In this unanimous, unpublished, per curiam decision, the Court of Appeals affirmed in part, and vacated in part, the trial court’s award of no-fault attorney fees in favor of Plaintiff Roderic Williams, after Williams’s first-party action against Defendant State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company (“State Farm”) concluded at trial, reversed the trial court’s award of prevailing-party costs to Williams, and vacated the trial court’s denial of State Farm’s motion for costs and fees related to post-trial work.  As to the trial court’s award of no-fault attorney fees, the Court of Appeals held that the trial court failed to make an explicit finding as to the unreasonableness of State Farm’s refusal to pay other benefits for which it awarded Williams attorney fees under MCL 500.3148.  As to the trial court’s award of prevailing-party costs, the Court of Appeals determined, preliminarily, that the prior version of MCR 2.403(O)(6)—which provided for case evaluation sanctions—applied to this case.  Since Williams did not do 10% better at trial than the case evaluation award he rejected, the Court of Appeals held that he was not the ‘prevailing party’ under the former MCR 2.403(O)(6), and thus not entitled to prevailing-party costs.

Hope Network Rehab Servs v Mich Catastrophic Claims Assoc, et al (COA – UNP 6/9/2022; RB #4427)   
In this unanimous, published, per curiam decision, the Court of Appeals reversed the trial court’s denial of Defendant Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association’s (“MCCA”) motion for summary disposition, in which the MCCA sought dismissal of Plaintiff Hope Network Rehabilitation Services’ (“Hope” or “Hope Network”) action against it for tortious interference with a business relationship or expectancy.  The Court of Appeals held, first, that Hope failed to present sufficient evidence to create a question of fact as to whether the MCCA intentionally interfered with Hope’s business expectancy of Defendant Farm Bureau General Insurance Company of Michigan (“Farm Bureau”) by threatening to withhold reimbursement from Farm Bureau if Farm Bureau settled Hope’s underlying first-party action against it for an amount agreeable to both Hope and Farm Bureau.  The Court held, second, that Hope Network failed to establish that it suffered damages as a result of the MCCA’s alleged interference.

Meemic Ins Co v Christian Care Ministry, Inc (COA – PUB 6/9/2022; RB #4426)   
In this unanimous, published decision authored by Judge Yates, the Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court’s summary disposition order dismissing Plaintiff Meemic Insurance Company’s (“Meemic”) reimbursement action against Defendant Christian Care Ministry, Inc. (“CCM”), in which Meemic sought reimbursement from CCM for no-fault PIP benefits it paid to cover Josephus Vanderlinden’s medical expenses after Vanderlinden was seriously injured in a car crash.  The Court of Appeals held that CCM, a voluntary health care sharing ministry under Michigan law, did not provide Vanderlinden, its participant/Meemic’s insured, with “other health and accident coverage” for purposes of MCL 500.3109a, and thus was not subject to the coordination of coverage provision of Vanderlinden’s no-fault policy with Meemic.

Bazzo v Doe, et al (COA – UNP 6/2/2022; RB #4424)   
In this unanimous, unpublished, per curiam decision, the Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court’s summary disposition order dismissing Plaintiff Katherine Lynn Bazzo’s negligence action against Defendant Groulx Automotive, Inc. (“Groulx”), a car dealership.  Bazzo was injured while traveling as a passenger in Mohammad Waseen Qureshi’s personal vehicle, which bore a Groulx dealer plate at the time of the subject crash.  The Court of Appeals held that Bazzo could not proceed with a negligence claim against Groulx arising out of the crash—predicated on Groulx’s violation of MCL 257.256—because the Groulx salesperson who gave Qureshi the dealer plate was not acting within the course and scope of his employment when he did so.  

Kidd v Liberty Mut Gen Ins Co, et al (COA – UNP 6/2/2022; RB #4425)   
In this unanimous, unpublished, per curiam decision, the Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court’s summary disposition order dismissing Plaintiff Sherry Kidd’s third-party auto negligence action against Defendant Wissam Ali Salame.  The Court of Appeals held, first, that Kidd failed to present sufficient evidence to create a question of fact as to whether her back injuries were caused by the subject car crash, and, second, that Kidd failed to present sufficient evidence to create a question of fact as to whether her neck injuries affected her general ability to lead her normal life—the third prong of the test for serious impairment of body function set forth in McCormick v Carrier, 487 Mich 180 (2010).

Mehtar v Fremont Ins Co, et al (COA – UNP 6/2/2022; RB #4423)
In this unanimous, unpublished, per curiam decision, the Court of Appeals reversed the trial court’s summary disposition order in favor of Plaintiff Bashir Mehtar, in Mehtar’s first-party action seeking unpaid no-fault PIP benefits from Defendant Fremont Insurance Company (“Fremont”), and remanded for further proceedings consistent with its opinion. The Court of Appeals held that a question of fact existed as to the “existence and extent” of the injuries Mehtar allegedly suffered as a result of the subject car crash and, further, that a question of fact existed as to whether Mehtar’s injuries arose out of the subject car crash for purposes of MCL 500.3105(1).

Cheema, et al v Progressive Marathon Ins Co, et al (COA – UNP 6/2/2022; RB #4422)  
In this unanimous, unpublished, per curiam decision (Cameron, concurring in part and dissenting in part), the Court of Appeals vacated the trial court’s summary disposition order dismissing Plaintiff Harris Cheema’s first-party action against Defendants Progressive Marathon Insurance Company (“Progressive”) and State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company (“State Farm”).  The Court of Appeals held, first, that a question of fact existed as to whether Progressive could rescind the policy it issued to Cheema’s company, Overland Transportation, LLC (“Overland”), based on misrepresentation Cheema made on his application for coverage regarding the nature of Overland’s business.  The Court of Appeals held, second, that a question of fact existed as to whether a mutual rescission of the Progressive policy occurred by virtue of the fact that Cheema used the refunded premiums to pay Overland’s business expenses.  The Court of Appeals held, third, that under the circumstances in this case, Progressive was not barred by the election of remedies doctrine from rescinding the policy after first choosing to cancel it.  The Court of Appeals held, fourth, that a question of fact existed as to whether Cheema and Overland were co-owners of the vehicle Cheema was driving at the time of his injury, such that—if Progressive properly rescinded the policy it issued to Overland which covered the vehicle—Cheema would have been required to personally maintain no-fault coverage on the vehicle under MCL 500.3101(3)(l).

Wasik v Auto Club Ins Assoc, et al (COA – PUB 6/2/2022; RB #4421)
In this unanimous, published decision authored by Judge Murray, the Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court’s summary disposition order dismissing Plaintiff Griffin Wasik’s action for uninsured motorist (UM) benefits against Defendants Auto Club Insurance Association (“Auto Club”) and Progressive Marathon Insurance Company (“Progressive”). The Court of Appeals held that the phrase ‘hit-and-run vehicle’—found in both policies—did not include a Ford Explorer whose driver initially stopped after crashing into the vehicle Wasik was traveling in, but then left the scene after the drivers of each vehicle agreed that there was no need to contact the police. In so holding, the Court of Appeals defined the term ‘hit-and-run vehicle’ in both policies to mean “a vehicle that hits another vehicle and the driver leaves the scene of the accident—either without stopping or at any time before an exchange of information can take place.”

Alhariri v Rogers, et al (COA – UNP 5/26/2022; RB #4420)   
In this unanimous, unpublished, per curiam decision, the Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court’s summary disposition order dismissing Plaintiff Zakariya Alhariri’s third-party auto negligence action against Defendant University Auto Repair, Inc. (“UAR”), which Alhariri brought pursuant to Michigan owner’s liability statute, MCL 257.401.  The Court of Appeals held that UAR was not the owner of the motor vehicle in question because legal title had been transferred upon the signing of the application for title five days prior to the subject crash.

Harris v Pawlitz, et al (COA – UNP 5/26/2022; RB #4419)   
In this unanimous, unpublished, per curiam decision, the Court of Appeals vacated the trial court’s summary disposition order—in which the trial court dismissed Plaintiff Shelisa Harris’s third-party auto negligence action against Defendant Edwin Edward Pawlitz—and remanded to the trial court for further proceedings consistent with its opinion.  The Court of Appeals held that a question of fact existed as to whether Harris’s injuries satisfied the test for serious impairment of body function set forth in McCormick v Carrier, 487 Mich 180 (2010)—specifically, whether Harris suffered an objectively manifested impairment, caused by the subject motor vehicle collision, which affected her general ability to lead her normal life.

Cousineau v Cousineau, et al (COA – UNP 5/26/2022; RB #4418)   
In this unanimous, unpublished, per curiam decision, the Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court’s summary disposition order dismissing Plaintiff Martin Cousineau’s third-party auto negligence action against Defendant Janet Cousineau.  The Court of Appeals held that Janet Cousineau was shielded from liability by the sudden-emergency doctrine because, under the specific facts and circumstances of this case, it was not reasonably foreseeable that she would encounter a patch of black ice which would cause her to lose control of her vehicle.

Hill v Nationwide Mut Fire Ins Co, et al (COA – UNP 5/26/2022; RB #4416)
In this unanimous, unpublished, per curiam decision, the Court of Appeals reversed the trial court’s denial of Defendant William Richard Crisman’s motion for summary disposition—in which Crisman sought dismissal of Plaintiff Montez Hill’s third-party auto negligence action against him—and remanded for entry of an order granting Crisman’s motion. The Court of Appeals held that no reasonable juror could conclude that Hill was less than 50% at fault for the subject motor vehicle collision and, alternatively, that any negligence acts committed by Crisman were excused by the sudden-emergency doctrine.

Orchard Laboratories Corp v Auto Club Ins Assoc (COA – UNP 5/26/2022; RB #4417)   
In this 2-1, unpublished, per curiam decision (Kelly, dissenting), the Court of Appeals affirmed two separate trial court orders denying two separate motions for summary disposition filed by Defendant Auto Club Insurance Association (“Auto Club”) in Plaintiff Orchard Laboratories Corporation (“Orchard Laboratories”) first-party action against Auto Club.  The Court of Appeals held, first, that Auto Club received sufficient notice of Robert Dorey’s back injuries within one year of the subject pedestrian-versus-motor vehicle collision for purposes of MCL 500.3145(1).  The Court held, second, that res judicata and collateral estoppel did not apply to Orchard Laboratories’ first-party action against Auto Club, even though Dorey’s separate first-party action against Auto Club was dismissed while Orchard Laboratories’ was pending, because Orchard Laboratories was not a party to Dorey’s action and because Orchard Laboratories and Dorey were not in privity.


Michigan auto accident attorney Stephen Sinas is the lead editor of the appellate case summaries published on this site regarding the Michigan auto insurance law. To learn more about how Stephen Sinas and how the Sinas Dramis Law Firm can help you if you have been injured in a Michigan auto accident, visit SinasDramis.com.

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