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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

Advance Pain Care, PLLC v Trumbull Ins Co (COA – UNP 5/13/2021; RB # 4261)
In this unanimous unpublishedper curiam opinion, the Court of Appeals affirmed summary disposition for Defendant Trumbull Insurance on the issue of assignment enforceability because, Advance Pain failed to properly put Trumbull on notice of its assigned rightsby providing only bills for services.

Smith, et al v Auto Club Group, et al (COA – UNP 4/29/2021; RB #4250)
In this unanimous unpublished per curiam decision, the Court of Appeals affirmed a final judgment entered in Plaintiff Latrice Smith’s first-party action against Defendant Auto Club Group.  Auto Club Group (“Auto Club”) sought to rescind Smith’s automobile insurance policy after she was injured in a car crash by sending her a letter of rescission and refunding her premium through an electronic funds transfer.  Smith set the refund aside and did not use the funds andinstead filed the underlying action against Auto Club Group for unpaid PIP benefits.  Auto Club Group moved for summary disposition, arguing that Smith consented to the rescission because she received the premium refund and did not return it to Auto Club.  The Court of Appeals disagreed, holding that reasonable minds could differ on the issue of whether Smith consented to the rescission based on the fact that she did not use the money refunded to her.

Smith v Buerkel (COA – UNP 4/29/2021; RB #4254)
In this unanimous unpublished per curiam decision, the Court of Appeals affirmed the judgment entered in Plaintiff Leon Smith’s third-party action against Defendant Patsy Buerkel after a jury trial, as well as the trial court’s award of case evaluation sanctions against Buerkel.  The Court of Appeals held that the trial court did not err in granting Smith’s motion for directed verdict on the issues of whether he suffered a serious impairment of body function and causation, and that the trial court did not err in awarding Smith case evaluation sanctions against Buerkel.

MemberSelect Ins Co v Flesher, et al (COA – PUB 4/29/2021; RB #4249)
In this unanimous published per curiam decision, the Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court’s denial of Plaintiff MemberSelect Insurance Company’s (“MemberSelect”) motion for summary disposition in its underlying declaratory action against Defendant Nicholas Fetzer.  MemberSelect argued that Fetzer’s mother, who insured the vehicle Fetzer owned but never rode in it, did not have an insurable interest in the vehicle, and that her policy was therefore void.  The Court of Appeals disagreed, holding that Fetzer did have an insurable interest in the vehicle by virtue of the fact that she was Fetzer’s mother, and that as Fetzer’s mother, her interest in her son’s physical and financial well-being gave her a sufficient insurable interest in the vehicle.

Advanced Surgery Center, LLC v Farm Bureau General Insurance Company of Michigan, et al (COA – UNP 4/22/2021; RB #4251)
In this unanimous unpublished per curiam opinion, the Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court’s grant of summary disposition to co-defendant EAN holdings, LLC, on the disputed issue of whether defendant EAN or defendant Farm Bureau General Insurance Company was the insurer of higher priority in relation to the claims for no-fault PIP benefits made by the injured person, Varanda Byrd, who was treated by and assigned some of her benefits to plaintiff Advanced Surgery Center, LLC. In so holding, the Court of Appeals noted that the Michigan Supreme Court’s analysis of the same issue in Turner v Farmers Ins Exch, __ Mich __; 953 NW2d 204 (2021)Turner by Sakowski v Farmers Ins Exch, 327 Mich App 481; 934 NW2d 81 (2019) was dispositive, and thus, “[b]ecause EAN was not required to obtain no-fault insurance for the vehicle, it could not have constituted the ‘insurer of the owner or registrant of the vehicle occupied’ under former MCL 500.3114(4)(a).”

Ahmed v Tokio Marine American Ins Co, et al (COA – PUB 4/22/2021; RB #4253)
In this unanimous unpublished per curiam opinion, the Court of Appeals reversed the trial court’s denial of defendant’s motion for summary disposition on the issue of whether plaintiff was barred by MCL 500.3113(a) from PIP benefits. The Court held that under the facts of the case, under the “knew or should known” language of MCL 500.3113(a),  the injured person was disqualified from benefits.  Specifically, the Court held that plaintiff’s taking of the rental car was unlawful under MCL 750.414 because the rental agreement did not authorize plaintiff to drive the vehicle.  Furthermore, the Court held that because plaintiff knew the car was rented, he should have known the terms of the rental agreement that prohibited him from the using the vehicle.  

Saad, et al v Westfield Ins Co, et al (COA – UNP 4/22/2021; RB #4248)
In this unanimous unpublished per curiam opinion, the Court of Appeals reversed the trial court’s grant of summary disposition in favor of defendant on the issue of whether plaintiff’s claim for PIP benefits was barred by the insurance policy’s antifraud clause. In so holding, the Court clarified that the cases of HaydawMeemicFasho, and Williams have resulted in “significant change” to the law since the time the trial court granted summary disposition to defendant, and that, when taken together, the cases establish that “unless an insured’s fraud  results  in  a  substantial  breach  of  the  insurance contract, fraud provides a basis for the opposite party to a contract to rescind the contract only if the fraud occurred before the contract was signed and before litigation commenced.”

Hahn v Vanduker, et al. (COA – UNP 4/15/2021; RB #4252)
In this unanimous unpublished per curiam decision, the Court of Appeals affirmed the judgment entered in Plaintiff Kathy Hahn’s first-party action against Defendant State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company (“State Farm”), the trial court’s denial of Hahn’s motion for a judgment nothwistanding the verdict (JNOV), and the trial court’s award of case evaluation sanctions to State Farm.  The Court of Appeals issued a lengthy opinion in which it rejected a variety of arguments raised by Hahn regarding evidentiary issues and trial court rulings, which will be discussed in turn below.

Talool v Rennalls, et al (COA – UNP 4/8/2021; RB #4256)
In this unanimous unpublished per curiam opinion, the Court of Appeals affirmed summary disposition for the defendant because the plaintiff failed satisfy the objective manifestation element of McCormick as a matter of law. 

Psychiatry and Rehab Associates v State Farm Mutual Ins Co (COA – UNP 4/1/2021; RB #4243)
In this unanimous unpublished per curiam opinion, the Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court’s grant of summary disposition in favor of defendant on the issue of whether a medical provider assigned rights by the injured policyholder was barred from bringing a separate suit for benefits on the basis of the injured policyholder’s release, collateral estoppel, and res judicata. In so holding, the Court noted that the Michigan Supreme court had long held that when an assignment of claims occurs after a lawsuit is filed, the assignor may settle or release those claims, precluding any further recovery by the assignee.

VHS of Michigan, Inc v State Farm Mut Auto Ins Co (COA – UNP 4/1/2021; RB #4244)
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 leave to amend its affirmative defenses to plead fraud with particularity, and remanded for further proceedings.  State Farm asserted general fraud defenses in its answer to Plaintiff VHS of Michigan, Inc.’s (VHS) complaint, but uncovered considerably more evidence of fraud through discovery, thereafterseeking to amend its affirmative defenses to plead fraud with particularity.  The Court of Appeals held that the trial court abused its discretion in denying State Farm’s motion, because State Farm did not act with bad faith by waiting to amend its affirmative defenses, and because VHS would not be prejudiced by such an amendment.

Abdi v Progressive Michigan Ins Co (COA – UNP 3/25/2021; RB #4242)
In this unanimous unpublished per curiam opinion, the Court of Appealsheld that Progressive was not legally obligated to pay PIP benefits to Plaintiff under MCL 500.3114(4)(a)because Progressive’s insured, JeffreyDraper and his trucking company,wereno longer the owners or registrants of the truck plaintiff was occupying at the time of the crash that occurred shortly afterplaintiff bought the truck from Draper. The Court further held that plaintiff was disqualified entirely from PIP benefitsunder the pre-2019 amended version of MCL 500.3113(c), because plaintiff was not a resident of Michigan, the truck was no longer registered in Michigan at the time of the accident, and plaintiff was not insured by an out-of-state insurer that was certified to sell insurance in Michigan under the pre-2019 amended version of MCL 500.3163

Zaiya v Encompass Indemnity Company (COA – UNP 3/25/2021; RB #4241)
In this unanimous unpublished per curiam opinion, the Court of Appeals found that: (1) the circuit court erred in determining Plaintiff Zaiya’s domicile as a matter of law this case, because “Zaiya presented evidence that she resided in two separate households at the time of her accident; and (2) the circuit court correctly determined as a matter of law that Zaiya was not an “insured” under the language of her daughter, Renee’s, no-fault policy.

Henderson v City of Detroit, et al. (COA – UNP 3/18/2021; RB #4236)
In this unanimous unpublished per curiam decision, the Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court’s denial of Defendant City of Detroit’s motion for summary disposition in which it sought dismissal of Plaintiff Christopher Henderson’s third-party action against it.  The Court of Appeals held that, although Henderson was at least partly negligent for attempting to change lanes without first ensuring that he could do so safely, he presented sufficient evidence to create a question of fact as to whether Patricia Lauderdale, a bus driver for the City of Detroit, was more than 50% negligent by driving her bus in excess of the speed limit at the time it crashed into Henderson’s vehicle.

Johnson v Geico Indemnity Co (COA – UNP 3/18/2021; RB #4238)
In this unanimous unpublished per curiam opinion, the Court of Appeals reversed the trial court’s holding denying summary disposition in favor of defendant on the issue of whether plaintiff committed fraud when seeking reimbursement for replacement services and attendant care and, therefore, barred from pursuing her claims for no-fault PIP benefits. In doing so, the Court noted that plaintiff’s submitted affidavits for attendant care and replacement services were inaccurate in that she claimed attendant care and replacement services took place while she was traveling without those she purported to be providing such care. Notably, in reaching its holding that the anti-fraud provision could be enforced to bar plaintiff’s claims for no-fault PIP benefits, the Court relied upon the decision in Bahri v IDS Prop Cas Ins Co, and did not explain how Bahri allowed for this result following the Michigan Supreme Court’s decision in Meemic Ins Co v Forston and the Michigan Court of Appeals recent decision in Williams v Farm Bureau Mut Ins Co.

Pepaj v Allstate Insurance Company (COA – UNP 3/18/2021; RB #4239)
In this unanimous unpublished per curiam decision, the Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court’s summary disposition order dismissing Plaintiff Gjok Pepaj’s first-party action for no-fault PIP benefits.  The Court of Appeals held that the trial court did not err in ruling that Pepaj failed to create a genuine issue of material fact as to whether the medical treatments and attendant care he received were reasonably necessary for his care, recovery, or rehabilitation pursuant to MCL 500.3107(1)(a).

Sarah McClinton v Christopher Hartwell, et al (COA – UNP; 3/18/2021; RB #4240)
In this unanimous unpublished per curiam opinion, the Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court’s grant of summary disposition in favor of defendant on the issue of whether plaintiff failed to demonstrate the existence of a “serious impairment of body function” necessary to meet the no-fault tort threshold. In doing so, the Court found that plaintiff failed to establish a physical basis for her complaints of shoulder and back pain.

Robinson, et al. v Progressive Michigan Insurance Company, et al. (COA – UNP 3/11/2021; RB #4234)
In this unanimous unpublished per curiam decision, the Court of Appeals reversed the trial court’s summary disposition order dismissing the plaintiff’s first-party action and remanded for further proceedings.  The Court of Appeals held that a question of fact existed as to whether the plaintiff’s employer, 313 Towing, LLC (“313”) was a constructive owner of the tow truck the plaintiff, Donald Robinson, was driving at the time of the subject crash.  If so, 313’s insurer, Progressive Michigan Insurance Company (“Progressive”), would be required to pay Robinson’s crash-related PIP benefits pursuant to MCL 500.3114(4)(a).

Anthony Lacascio v Farm Bureau Ins Co of Michigan (COA – UNP 3/11/2021; RB #4231)
In this unanimous unpublished per curiam opinion, the Court of Appeals affirmed the holding of the trial court’s denial of Defendant Farm Bureau’s Insurance Company of Michigan’s motion for summary disposition on the issue of whether Farm Bureau could deny plaintiff’s claims and rescind his father’s insurance policy on the basis of post procurement fraud by plaintiff. In so holding, the Court reasoned that based upon the Michigan Supreme Court’s holding in Meemic Ins Co v Fortson, 506 Mich 287; __ NW2d __ (2020), Farm Bureau could not enforce its anti-fraud provision to deny no-fault PIP benefits to the injured person because of acts of post-procurement fraud. 

Pioneer State Mut Ins Co v Andrew Lynn Frantz (COA – UNP 3/11/2021; RB #4232)
In this unanimous unpublished per curiam opinion, the Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court’s finding that defendant’s fraudulent misrepresentation in the application for insurance made the policy void ab initio, but reversed the trial court’s declaration that the plaintiff had no obligation to defend or indemnify defendant in the underlying tort suit and remanded to the trial court with instruction to conduct a hearing under Bazzi as to the defendant’s rights for defense and indemnification. The Court further vacated the trial court’s order rescinding the insurance policy and remanded the issue of recission to the trial court, instructing it to balance the equities concerning the injured passengers claim.

Stevenson v Neubar, et al (COA – UNP 3/4/2021; RB #4230)
In this unanimous unpublished per curiam, the Court of Appeals reversed the trial court’s summary disposition order dismissing plaintiff James Stevenson’s third-party action against defendants Sarah Neubar and Carl Neubar.  The Court of Appeals held that a question of fact existed as to whether Stevenson satisfied the third prong of the “serious impairment of body function” test set forth in McCormick v Carrier, 487 Mich 180 (2010): whether his wrist injury affected his general ability to lead his normal life.

David E. Christensen, P.L.L.C v Pioneer State Mut Ins Co, et al (COA – UNP 3/4/2021; RB #4229)
In this unanimous unpublished per curiam opinion, the Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court’s grant of summary disposition to defendant Pioneer and third-party defendant Hurley Medical Center on the issue of whether either was liable to plaintiff David E. Christensen, P.L.L.C. for its alleged attorney’s lien. In doing so, the Court held that neither defendant Pioneer or third-party defendant Hurley had actual notice of the lien, and that the funds due to Hurley were not part of a common fund generated by Christensen’s services.

Mustafa Almurisi v Avis Budget Car Rental, LLC (COA – UNP 3/4/2021; RB #4226)
In this unanimous unpublished per curiam opinion, the Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court’s grant of summary disposition on the issue of whether defendant was the insurer of the owner or registrant of the vehicle for purposes of meeting the requirements of former MCL 500.3114(4)(a). In doing so, the Court clarified that it was compelled by the holding in Turner v Farmers Ins Exch, __ Mich __; 953 NW2d 204 (2021).

Jawad A Shah, MD, PC v State Farm Mut Auto Ins Co (COA – UNP 2/25/2021; RB #4224)
In this unpublished 2-1 opinion (Judge Swartzle dissenting), the Court of Appeals reversed the trial court’s holding in favor of the defendant, finding that the services provided by Insight Healing Center were not adult foster care services requiring corresponding licensure and were thus lawfully rendered within the meaning of the no-fault act, requiring payment of these services by defendant. 

Blair v Jones (COA – UNP 2/18/2021; RB #4207)
In this unanimous unpublished per curiam opinion, the Court of Appeals affirmed summary disposition for the defendant on the issue of serious impairment of body function because the plaintiff failed to present sufficient evidence to establish that her injuries were objectively manifested under the test set forth in McCormick v Carrier, 487 Mich 180 (2010). 

Loiacana v Home-Owners Ins Co (COA – UNP 2/18/2021; RB #4222)
In this unanimous unpublished per curiam opinion, the Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court’s grant of summary disposition to Universal on the issue of whether plaintiff was an insured under Universal’s policy and affirmed the trial court’s denial of Home-Owners ’s motion to amend its pleadings to assert a cross-claim against Universal for common-law indemnity. In reaching its holding, the Court found that the policy language of Universal unambiguously provided who was entitled to uninsured benefits, and that plaintiff was not among them. Because of this fact, the Court held that any amendment to the pleadings to permit  Home-Owners to assert a cross-claim against Universal for common-law indemnity would have been futile.

Michigan Spine & Brain Surgeons, PLLC v Home-Owners Ins Co (COA – UNP 2/18/2021; RB #4220)
In this unanimous unpublished per curiam opinion, the Court of Appeals reversed the trial court’s order granting summary disposition to defendant Home-Owners Ins Co on the issue of whether recission of the insured’s insurance policy was appropriate as against the plaintiff medical provider. In doing so, the Court found that the doctrine of res judicata barred the fraud claim against plaintiff Michigan Spine & Brain Surgeons, PLLC, because Home-Owners had previously failed to prevail on the fraud claim in a lawsuit between the injured person and Home-Owners, and as the injured person’s assignee, Michigan Brain & Spine possesses the same rights as Hosey, and therefore, is protected by res judicata from defendant’s fraud allegations in this case.

Covenant Med Ctr Inc v Employers Mut Cas Co, et al (COA – UNP 2/11/2021; RB #4218)
In this unanimous unpublished per curiam opinion, the Court of Appeals reversed the trial court’s order granting in part plaintiff’s motion for summary disposition on the issue of whether the claims of plaintiff Covenant Medical Center, Inc were barred by the one-year-back rule and dismissed plaintiff’s cross-appeal regarding attorney fees as moot. In doing so, the Court held that the holding in Jawad A Shah, MD, PC v State Farm Mut Auto Ins Co, 324 Mich App 182; 920 NW2d 148 (2018) clarifying that the healthcare-provider plaintiff could not obtain any greater right than the insured possessed on the date of the assignment was binding.

Midwest Med Assoc Inc v Liberty Mut Ins Co (COA – UNP 2/11/2021; RB #4219)
In this unanimous unpublished per curiam opinion, the Court of Appeals upheld the trial court’s dismissal of plaintiff’s claims with prejudice and upheld the trial court’s order denying defendant’s motion for case evaluation sanctions. In doing so, the Court found that plaintiff failed to establish a prima facie case for entitlement to no-fault benefits by failing to properly add its billing manager to its witness list and failing to properly subpoena defendant’s claims adjuster. The Court further held that the trial court was permitted to rely on the interest of justice exception when denying defendant’s motion for case evaluation sanctions.

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