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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

Mich Institute of Pain and Headache, et al v State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company (COA – UNP 6/24/2021; RB #4288)
In this unanimous unpublished per curiam decision, the Court of Appeals reversed the trial court’s summary disposition order dismissing Plaintiff Michigan Institute of Pain and Headache, PC’s (“Metro Pain Clinic”) first-party action against Defendant State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company (“State Farm”). State Farm remitted only partial payment of the total amounts Metro Pain Clinic charged its patient and assignor, Bassam Honeini, for the treatment he received after he was injured in a motor vehicle collision, then argued that Metro Pain Clinic could not pursue the outstanding balance in litigation because Honeini had not “incurred” those charges for purposes of the no-fault act. Essentially, State Farm argued that, because Honeini had not personally suffered any damage or loss by the partial payments—i.e. been sued by Metro Pain Clinic for the outstanding balance—he had no basis, himself, to pursue the outstanding balance from State Farm, and thus neither did Metro Pain Clinic as his assignee. The Court of Appeals disagreed, holding that Honeini “incurred” the full amounts charged by Metro Pain Clinic once he accepted treatment, and that Metro Pain Clinic, as his assignee, could therefore pursue the balance of what was paid and what was charged from State Farm.

Buford v Esurance Prop & Cas Ins Co (COA – UNP 6/24/2021; RB #4290)
In this unanimous unpublished per curiam decision, the Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court’s summary disposition order dismissing Plaintiff Vivian Buford’s first-party action against Defendant Esurance Property & Casualty Insurance Company (“Esurance”). The Court of Appeals held that Buford failed to present sufficient evidence to create a question of fact as to whether her claimed injuries were caused by the subject motor vehicle collision pursuant to MCL 500.3105(1).

Breece v Johnson, et al (COA – UNP 6/24/2021; RB #4289)
In this unanimous unpublished per curiam decision, the Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court’s denial of Citizens Insurance Company of the Midwest’s (“Citizens”) motion for summary disposition, in which Citizens sought dismissal of Plaintiffs Shaina Breece and Detroit Medical Center’s (“DMC”) first-party action. The Court of Appeals also affirmed the trial court’s denial of DMC’s motion for summary disposition, in which DMC asked that the court rule as, a matter of law, that the amounts it charged for the treatment it provided to her after the subject motor vehicle collision were reasonable for purposes of the no-fault act. With respect to Citizens’s motion, the Court of Appeals held that the trial court did not abuse its discretion in denying Citizens’ attempt to rescind the policy under which Shaina was covered at the time of the collision after Citizens discovered that Shaina’s mother had committed fraud in its procurement. Shaina was an innocent third-party to the fraud and the trial court did not abuse its discretion in concluding that a balancing of the equities weighed against rescission of the policy with respect to Shaina. Regarding DMC’s motion, the Court of Appeals held that a genuine issue of material fact existed as to whether DMC’s charges were reasonable, notwithstanding the fact that DMC subjected those charges to an independent audit. The Court reasoned that “[t]he amount determined to be compensable by [the auditing entity] was relevant evidence of reasonableness, but was not dispositive of the issue.”

Estate of Audisho, et al v Everest Nat’l Ins Co (COA – UNP 6/24/2021; RB #4286)
In this unanimous unpublished per curiam decision, the Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court’s denial of Defendant Everest National Insurance Company’s (“Everest”) motion for summary disposition, in which it sought dismissal of Plaintiff Estate of Yacoub Audisho, Salima Audisho, and Sky 1 Transport’s (“Sky 1”) first-party action. The Court of Appeals held that the trial court did not err in concluding that a question of fact existed as to whether Yacoub accepted rescission of his no-fault policy by cashing the refund check Everest sent him after it determined that he had committed fraud in the procurement of his policy. The Court of Appeals further held that a balancing of the equities weighed against allowing Everest to rescind Yacoub’s policy with respect to Salima, his wife, and an innocent third-party to Yacoub’s alleged fraud. As a result, the Court of Appeals remanded to the trial court to enter an order granting summary disposition to Salima on that issue.

Whitaker v Rigel, et al (COA - UNP 6/17/2021; RB #4285)
In this unanimous unpublished per curiam decision, the Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court’s summary disposition order dismissing Plaintiff Laurie Whitaker’s third-party action against Defendants Taylor Rose Rigel and Rodney Wayne Rigel. The Court of Appeals held that Whitaker failed to present sufficient evidence to create a genuine issue of material fact as to whether her back injuries were caused by the subject motor vehicle collision and not merely the result of her pre-existing, degenerative back injuries.

Auto Club Ins Assoc v Corporate Limousine Inc, et al (COA – UNP 6/17/2021; RB #4280)
In this unanimous unpublished per curiam decision, the Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court’s various rulings in favor of Plaintiff Auto Club Insurance Association (“Auto Club”) n Auto Club’s underlying action against Defendant American Country Insurance Company (“American Country”). American Country insured a motor vehicle that struck and injured a pedestrian, Brian Miller, who subsequently sought PIP benefits through the Michigan Assigned Claims Plan (“MACP”), which in turn assigned his claim to Auto Club. After paying approximately $635,232.15 in PIP benefits to Miller, Auto Club filed its lawsuit against American Country, asserting that American Country was liable to reimburse it for all amounts paid to Miller plus future amounts incurred by Miller for his collision-related injuries. The trial court issued numerous rulings in favor of Auto Club, all of which were affirmed by the Court of Appeals. Specifically, the Court of Appeals held that Miller was not domiciled at his father’s residence on the date of the collision, which would have rendered his father’s insurer, Auto Owners Insurance Company (“Auto Owners”), a higher priority insurer than American Country. The Court of Appeals next held that the trial court properly considered the innocent third-party doctrine and balanced the equities between Auto Club and American Country in disallowing American Country from rescinding the policy that covered the subject motor vehicle on the basis of fraud. Lastly, the Court of Appeals held that the trial court did not err in ruling that the doctrine of laches did not operate to bar Auto Club’s action against American Country, because even though Auto Club waited five years to file its action, the applicable statute of limitations for insurer reimbursement actions is six years, and the doctrine of laches is simply inapplicable where a complaint is filed within the applicable statute of limitations.

Hauanio, et al v Smith, et al (COA -UNP 6/17/2021; RB #4282)
In this unanimous unpublished per curiam decision, the Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court’s summary disposition order dismissing Plaintiff Janet Hauanio’s first-party action against the Michigan Automobile Insurance Placement Facility (“MAIPF”), as well as the trial court’s denial of Hauanio’s motion to amend her complaint to substitute Farmers Insurance Exchange (“Farmers”) as a party in place of the MAIPF. The Court of Appeals held that Hauanio could not proceed with a direct action against the MAIPF because an injured person claiming benefits through the MAIPF can only sue the MAIPF for PIP benefits directly if it fails to assign his or her claim, and in this case, the MAIPF did not fail to assign Hauanio’s claim. Additionally, the Court held that Hauanio could not amend her complaint to substitute Farmers for the MAIPF because MCL 500.3174 requires that an injured person seeking benefits through the MAIPF commence an action against the assignee insurer within 30 days of assignment, and in this case, Hauanio failed to do so.

Turner v Auto-Owners Ins Co (COA - UNP 6/17/2021; RB #4283)
In this unanimous unpublished per curiam decision, the Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court’s summary disposition order dismissing Shanti Turner’s first-party no-fault action against Defendant Auto-Owners Insurance Company (“Auto-Owners”). Turner named Auto-Owners as the only defendant in this case, despite the fact that she was actually insured by Home-Owners Insurance Company (“Home-Owners”) at the time of the subject motor vehicle collision, and did not seek to amend her complaint to substitute Home-Owners until more than one year after the subject collision. Therefore, the Court of Appeals held that Turner’s claims against Home-Owners were barred by the one-year-back rule, and that Turner could not rely on the “so-called misnomer doctrine” in attempting to relate an amendment to her complaint naming the correct entity back to the filing date of her original action.

Harmon v Ewing, et al (COA – UNP 6/10/2021; RB #4278)
In this 2-1 unpublished per curiam decision (Stephens, dissenting), the Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court’s summary disposition order dismissing Plaintiff Jasmine Harmon’s third-party action against Defendants Tomas James Ewing, Thomas E. Mason, and Julia Lynn Everett. The Court of Appeals held that Harmon failed to present sufficient evidence to create a question of fact as to whether she suffered a serious impairment of body function as a result of the crash—specifically, whether she suffered an objectively manifested impairment.

Peters v Auto Club Ins Assoc, et al (UNP - COA 6/10/2021; RB #4279)
In this unanimous unpublished per curiam decision, the Court of Appeals reversed the trial court’s summary disposition order dismissing Plaintiff Kara Peters’s first-party action against Defendant Auto Club Insurance Association (“Auto Club”). Primarily at issue in this case was a billing statement from Peters’s medical providers which indicated an outstanding “insurer balance” of $83,855.20, but an outstanding “patient balance of “$-.” The trial court held this billing statement to mean that Peters had not “incurred” any charges for purposes of the no-fault act, because she had not been billed directly. The Court of Appeals reversed the trial court’s ruling, holding that Peters “incurred” the charges from her providers at the moment she accepted treatment, “even if payment was expected from an insurer rather than from [Peters],” as was perhaps suggested by the aforementioned billing statement.

St. John Hosp & Med Ctr, et al v Nationwide Mut Fire Ins Co, et al (COA – UNP 6/10/2021; RB #4277)
In this unanimous unpublished per curiam decision, the Court of Appeals reversed the trial court’s judgment entered in favor of Defendant/Cross-Plaintiff Nationwide Mutual Fire Insurance Company (“Nationwide”) after a jury trial and remanded for entry of judgment of no cause of action in favor of Defendant/Cross-Defendant Home-Owners Insurance Company (“Home-Owners”). A priority dispute arose as to who owned the motor vehicle involved in the subject crash, and therefore whether Nationwide—to whom the Michigan Assigned Claims Plan assigned Plaintiff St. John Hospital and Medical Center’s (“St. John”) claim for no-fault PIP benefits—or Home-Owners—the insurer of the vehicle’s previous owner who, Nationwide argued, failed to properly transfer title to its new, uninsured owner who was driving it at the time of the subject crash—was the highest priority insurer for purposes of MCL 500.3114. The Court of Appeals held that Home-Owners’ insured properly transferred title before the subject crash by complying with the requirements of MCL 257.233(9), and therefore that Home-Owners fell outside of the no-fault act’s priority rules.

Banks, et al v Williams, et al (COA - UNP 6/10/2021; RB #4276)
In this unanimous unpublished per curiam opinion, the Court of Appeals reversed the trial court’s denial of Defendant National Liability & Fire Insurance Company’s (“National”) motion for summary disposition in which it sought to dismiss Plaintiff Natalie Banks’s first-party action against it and rescind her commercial automobile insurance policy on the basis of fraud in the policy’s procurement. The Court of Appeals held that Banks did, in fact, misrepresent that the covered vehicle’s intended purpose was for use in her cosmetic business when she filled out her application for coverage, and that rescission of the policy was therefore warranted.

LaTarte, et al v Harris (COA – UNP 6/3/2021; RB #4275)
In this majority unpublished per curiam decision (Jansen, dissenting), the Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court’s denial of Defendant Deshawn Harris’s motion for summary disposition in which he sought to dismiss Plaintiff Mary LaTarte’s third-party lawsuit on governmental immunity grounds. The Court held that a question of fact existed as to whether Harris, a Saginaw City police officer, acted with gross negligence in causing the subject motor vehicle collision.

Wilson v Titan Ins Co, et al (UNP - COA 5/27/2021; RB #4273)
In this unanimous unpublished per curiam decision (Swartzle, concurring), the Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court’s summary disposition order dismissing Plaintiff Tamika Wilson’s first-party action against Defendant Titan Insurance Company (“Titan”). The Court of Appeals held that Wilson was barred from seeking no-fault PIP benefits through the Michigan Assigned Claims Plan (“MACP”) for injuries she sustained in the subject motor vehicle collision because she committed a fraudulent insurance act for purposes of MCL 500.3173a(2).

Bronner, et al v City of Detroit, et al (SC – PUB 5/27/2021; RB #4271)
In this 7-0 decision (Viviano concurring), the Michigan Supreme Court upheld an indemnification provision in a contract between Defendant City of Detroit (“City of Detroit” or “the City”) and Defendant GFL Environmental USA Inc. (“GFL”). At issue in this case was an indemnification agreement between the City of Detroit and GFL, whereby GFL agreed to indemnify the City against any liabilities it incurred as a result of GFL or its employees’ negligence. After a GFL garbage truck driver struck a City of Detroit bus and forced the City to have to pay PIP benefits to its passenger who was injured as a result of the collision, the City sought reimbursement from GFL pursuant to the indemnification agreement. The Supreme Court held that the indemnification agreement was valid after examining the various appellate cases which address the enforceability of provisions in no-fault insurance contracts pertaining to matters not specifically covered in the no-fault act. Based on the reasoning of those cases, the Supreme Court held that the subject indemnification provision was enforceable because it did not conflict with any of the no-fault act’s statutory sections or with the legislative purpose of the no-fault act, which the Court characterized as “to ensure that there is applicable insurance for accidents and that benefits get paid.” Justice Viviano agreed with the result reached by the majority but argued that the indemnification agreement at issue was enforceable because it did not conflict with any of the statutory sections of the no-fault act and that the majority should not have focused on the legislative goals and purpose of the no-fault act.

Schutt v Suburban Mobility Auth for Regional Transp, et al (COA – UNP 5/27/2021; RB #4272)
In this unanimous unpublished per curiam decision, the Court of Appeals reversed the trial court’s denial of defendant Suburban Mobility Authority for Regional Transportation’s (SMART) motion for summary disposition, in which SMART sought dismissal of Plaintiff August Schutt’s third-party action against it. The Court of Appeals held that there was no evidence that the driver of the SMART bus on which Schutt was injured drove the bus in a negligent or grossly negligent manner, merely by accelerating before Schutt sat down and braking for a yellow light.

Montpetit v Hopkins (COA - UNP 5/27/2021; RB #4274)
In this unanimous unpublished per curiam decision, the Court of Appeals reversed the trial court’s summary disposition order dismissing Plaintiff Darryl Lee Montepetit’s third-party action against Defendant Chaz Allen Hopkins.  The Court of Appeals held that Montpetit presented sufficient evidence to create a question of fact as to whether he 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 his alleged aggravation of his pre-existing neck and back injuries for which he received Social Security Disability before the subject collision constituted an objectively manifested impairment which further affected his general ability to lead his normal life pursuant to the test set forth in McCormick.

Jones v Suburban Mobility Auth for Regional Transp (COA -UNP 5/20/2021; RB #4267)
In this unanimous unpublished per curiamdecision, the Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court’s denial of Defendant Suburban Mobility Authority for Regional Transportation’s (“SMART”) motion for summary disposition in which it sought dismissal of Plaintiff Edward Jones’s third-party lawsuit against it on governmental immunity grounds.  The Court of Appeals, while noting the general rule that bus drivers are not required to wait until patrons reach their seats before accelerating, held that a question of fact existed as to whether Jones’s status as an elderly, physically compromised individual constituted a “special and apparent reason” why SMART’s bus driver should have waited until Jones reached his seat before accelerating, and whether, therefore, the bus driver’s failure to do so was negligence as a matter of law.  Additionally, the Court of Appeals held that a question of fact existed as to whether the bus driver acted negligently by taking her eyes off the road and attending to the operation of the fare machine at the front of the bus while actively driving down the roadway.

Lekli v Farm Bureau Ins of Mich, et al (COA -UNP 5/20/2021; RB #4268)
In this unanimous unpublished per curiam decision, the Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court’s summary disposition order dismissing Syrja  Lekli’s first-party action against Defendants Great American Insurance Company (“Great American”), Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Company of Michigan (“Farm Bureau”), and the Michigan Automobile Insurance Placement Facility (“MAIPF”).  The Court of Appeals held that Farm Bureau, the insurer of Lekli’s personal vehicles, was properly dismissed from the case because Lekli was driving a vehicle owned by his employer,  Pergjoni Transport (“Pergjoni”), at the time of the crash, and that the insurer of Pergjoni’s vehicle, therefore, was the highest priority insurer pursuant to MCL 500.3114(1).   The Court held that Great American was properly dismissed from the case because, although Great American was one of the insurers  of Pergioni’s vehicle, Great Amercian’s policy contained an enforceable trucking or business use exclusion.   Notably, Lekli did not pursue benefits from or add the other insurer of Pergioni’s vehicle, Hudson Insurance Company (“Hudson”), which presumably would have provided coverage.  Furthermore, regarding the MAIPF, the Court of Appeals held that to whatever extent MAIPF should have remained in the case, Lekli’s attorney explicitly waived keeping the MAIPF in the case once an insurer of higher priority could be identified, which occurred when the trial court determined Hudson was such an insurer, even though Lekli had not pursued benefits through Hudson.

Lippett v Cincinnati Ins Co, et al  (COA – UNP 5/20/2021; RB #4269)
In this unanimous unpublished per curiam decision, the Court of Appeals reversed the trial court’s summary disposition order dismissing Plaintiff Denise Darnell Lippett’s first-party action against Defendant Cincinnati Insurance Company (“Cincinnati”), affirmed the trial court’s summary disposition order dismissing Lippett’s uninsured motorist claim against Cincinnati, and affirmed the trial court’s grant of Defendant Auto-Owners Insurance Company’s (“Auto-Owners”) motion to dismiss Lippett’s action against Auto-Owners.  The Court of Appeals held, with respect to Cincinnati’s motion for summary disposition as to Lippett’s claims for no-fault PIP benefits, that the trial court erred by ruling that Lippett could only recover for the injuries that she explicitly  listed on her original application for benefits after the subject motor vehicle collision, and remanded for further proceedings regarding the evidence that established Lippett may have sustained injuries in addition to those listed on her original application.   MCL 500.3105(1) provides that an injured person can recover for any injuries that arise out of the ownership, operation, maintenance, or use of a motor vehicle as a motor vehicle, and there is nothing in the statute that says an injured person can only recover for the injuries she explicitly enumerates in her original application for benefits.  As for Lippett’s uninsured motorist claim against Cincinnati, the Court of Appeals held that the trial court did not err in ruling that Lippett failed to produce sufficient evidence that the other drivers involved in the subject collision were, in fact, uninsured, and that summary disposition for Cincinnati as to Lippett’s UM claim was therefore properly granted.  With respect to Auto-Owners, the Court of Appeals held that dismissal of Lippett’s claim against Auto-Owners was warranted given Lippett’s counsel’s repeated, willful discovery violations. 

Ferndale Rehab Ctr, et al v Allstate Ins Co (COA - UNP 5/20/2021; RB#4266)
In this unanimous unpublished per curiamopinion, the Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court’ssummary disposition order dismissing Plaintiff Ferndale Rehabilitation Center’s (“FRC”) first-party lawsuit against Defendant Allstate Insurance Company (“Allstate”).  The Court of Appeals held that FRC’s assignor, Tommie Thomas, committed fraud in his application for no-fault PIP benefits through the Michigan Assigned Claims Plan, and that his claim—and FRC’s claims as his assignee—were therefore barred by MCL 500.3173a.

Estate of Baldwin, et al v Estate of Davies, et al (COA - UNP 5/20/2021; RB #4264)
In this unanimous unpublished per curiamdecision, the Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court’s ruling summary disposition order dismissing the plaintiff Estate of Lamereo Baldwin’s negligence action against Defendants Tom Davies Seamless Gutters (“TDSG”) and the defendant Estate of Tom Davies.  The Court of Appeals held first that TDSG had no ownership interest in the motor vehicle involved in the collision, as the insurance policy that covered the vehicle had been transferred to a different entity almost a year prior to the collision.  Therefore, TDSG could not be sued under the Michigan’s owner liability statute, MCL 257.401.  The Court of Appeals held second that the Baldwin Estate could not proceed with its negligent entrustment action against the Davies Estate because it had previously sued Farm Bureau, the insurer of the motor vehicle and Davies’s new corporation, which was named on the policy covering the vehicle, in a separate negligence action based on the same facts.  That case was dismissed after an order of summary disposition was entered in Farm Bureau’s favor, and since Farm Bureau was a privy of the Davies Estate and the same issues raised in the instant action could have been raised in the first action against Farm Bureau, the instant action was barred by the doctrine of res judicata.

Estate of Woolen, et al v City of Detroit (COA - UNP 5/20/2021; RB #4265)
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 the City sought to dismiss Plaintiff Estate of Robert Woolen's third-party action against it. The Court of Appeals held that a question of fact existed as to whether the Woolen Estate's lawsuit implicated the motor-vehicle exception to governmental immunity—more specifically, the Court held that a question of fact existed as to whether the City of Detroit's bus driver acted negligently in abruptly braking and changing lanes in order to allegedly avoid hitting a motor vehicle that pulled out in front of him. The Court also held, based on the facts of the case, that a question of fact existed as to whether the "sudden emergency doctrine" barred the Woolen Estate's cause of action.

Collinson v Meemic Ins Co (COA - UNP 5/20/2021; RB #4263)
In this unpublished per curiam opinion, the Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court’s summary disposition order dismissing Plaintiff Michael Collinson’s first-party action for survivor’s loss benefits after his mother, Janice Collinson, was killed in a fatal car crash.  The Court of Appeals held that Collinson, who was 26 years old at the time of Janice Collinson’s death, , was not physically or mentally incapacitated from earning and therefore neither a conclusively presumed dependent for purposes of the no-fault act.  Furthermore, the Court of Appeals held that the facts regarding Plaintiff’s inability to maintain employment and earn his own income as they existed at the time of Janice Collinson’s death did not support a finding that Michael Collinson was her dependent under MCL 500.3110.

Baum v Auto-Owners Ins Co, et al, (COA – UNP 5/20/2021; RB #4262)
In this unanimous unpublished per curiam decision, the Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court’s summary disposition orderdismissing Plaintiff James Baum’s first-party action against Defendant Home-Owners Insurance Company (“Home-Owners”).  After the subject motor vehicle collision, Baum sought work-loss benefits from Home-Owners, testifying that he was temporarily laid off at the time of the collision.  Home-Owners argued that Baum’s testimony constituted fraud and justified voidance of the subject policy, highlighting an affidavit from Baum’s supervisor in which his supervisor averred that Baum had been permanently laid off at the time of the crash.  The Court of Appealsheld that a question of fact existed as to whether Baum was ever actually notified of his being permanently laid off, and therefore whether his misrepresentation was made knowingly.  The Court affirmed the trial court’s summary disposition order in favor of Home-Owners anyways, however, holding that Baum failed to mitigate his damages and seek out new employment despite being cleared to do so.

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.

Wilmore-Moody v Zakir, et al (UNP – COA 5/6/2021; RB # 4260)
In this unanimous unpublished per curiam decision, the Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court’s summary disposition order dismissing Plaintiff Adora Wilmore-Moody’s first-party action against Defendant Everest National Insurance Company (“Everest”), but reversed the trial court’s summary disposition order dismissing Wilmore-Moody’s third-party action against Defendant Mohammed Zakir. The Court of Appeals held that the trial court was justified in rescinding Wilmore-Moody’s automobile insurance policy with Everest based on fraudulent statements Wilmore-Moody made in procuring the policy. The Court of Appeals also held, however, that permitting Everest to rescind the policy ab initio did not “alter the past” and mean that Wilmore-Moody did not actually have insurance at the time of the collision. In other words, she was not actually an uninsured person at the time of the collision for purposes of MCL 500.3135(2)(c), and therefore not barred from pursuing her third-party claim against Zakir.

Salinas v Hayes, et al (COA – UNP 5/6/2021; RB #4259)
In this unanimous unpublished per curiam decision, the Court of Appeals reversed the trial court’s summary disposition order dismissing Plaintiff Fransisco Salinas’s third-party action against Defendants Joanne Hayes and Michigan Millers Mutual Insurance Company (“MMMIC”) and remanded for further proceedings. The Court of Appeals held that Salinas presented sufficient evidence to create a question of fact as to whether the subject motor vehicle collision caused him to suffer an objectively manifested impairment, and that the trial court erred in weighing the evidence and disregarding Salinas’s experts’ testimonies in favor of MMMIC’s experts’ testimonies on a motion for summary disposition.

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.

Estate of Bernard v Avers, et al (COA - UNP 4/29/2021; RB #4255)
In this unanimous unpublished per curiam decision, the Court of Appeals affirmed in part, reversed in pard, and vacated in part the trial court’s summary disposition order dismissing Plaintiff Estate of Calvin Bernard’s first- and third-party claims against Defendants Grange Insurance Company of Michigan (“Grange”), Janice Marie Avers, and Anchor Bay Packaging Corporation (“Anchor Bay”), and remanded for further proceedings. With respect to the Bernard Estate’s first-party claim against Grange, the Court of Appeals held that Bernard had committed fraud in his claims for replacement services, concluding that it was still bound by Bahri v IDS Prop Cas Ins Co, 308 Mich App 420 (2014) despite the Supreme Court and Court of Appeals’ subsequent, seemingly contradictory holdings in Meemic Ins Co v Fortson, 506 Mich 287 (2020) and Williams v Farm Bureau Mut Ins Co, ___ Mich App ___ (2021). With respect to the Bernard Estate’s third-party claim against Avers and Anchor Bay, the Court of Appeals held that, even though Bernard’s policy with Grange was voided ab initio, that did not actually mean he failed to maintain the proper security at the time of the collision. Therefore, he was allowed to proceed with his third-party action against those defendants. Additionally, the Court of Appeals held that the Bernard Estate presented sufficient evidence to create a question of fact existed as to whether Bernard suffered a serious impairment of body function.

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.  

Davis, et al v Auto Owners Ins Co (COA - PUB 4/22/2021; RB #4258)
In this unanimous published per curiam decision, the Court of Appeals reversed the trial court’s summary disposition order dismissing Plaintiff Lee Davis’s first-party action against Defendant Home-Owners Insurance Company (“Home-Owners”) and third-party action against Defendants Teshonb Damian Fore and Renaissance Real Estate Ventures (“Renaissance”). The Court of Appeals held that Davis presented sufficient evidence to create a question of fact—with regard to both his first- and third-party actions—as to whether his injuries were causally related to the subject motor vehicle collison.

Arrell v Edwards (COA - UNP 4/22/2021; RB #4257)
In this unanimous unpublished per curiam decision, the Court of Appeals reversed the trial court’s summary disposition order dismissing Plaintiff Lisa Lee Arrell’s third-party action against Defendant Lloyd G. Edwards, Jr. The Court of Appeals held that a question of fact existed as to whether the injuries Arrell sustained as a result of being rear-ended by Edwards, Jr.’s vehicle affected her general ability to lead her normal life for purposes of the serious impairment of body function test set forth in McCormick v Carrier, 487 Mich 180 (2010).

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. 

Physiatry 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 – PUB 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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