Hubert v Citizens Insurance Company of America; (COA-PUB, 2/21/1979; RB #174)


Michigan Court of Appeals; Docket No. 78-1335; Published   
Judges Kaufinan, Brennan, and Bashara; Per Curiam   
Official Michigan Reporter Citation: 88 Mich App 710; Link to Opinion alt    

State Workers Compensation Benefits [§3109(1)]   
Exception for Employer Provided Vehicles [§3114(3)]

Workers Disability Compensation Act (MCL 418.1, et seq.)    

In a per curiam Opinion, the Court of Appeals expressly adopted the reasoning of Judge Allen's dissent in Ottenwess v Hawkeye Security Insurance Company (item number 94) and held that an employee who was injured while occupying his employer's motor vehicle was permitted to recover no-fault personal protection insurance benefits from the employer's no-fault carrier pursuant to §3114(3) of the act. In so holding, the Court of Appeals rejected the contention that the workers' compensation exclusive remedy rule was a bar to plaintiff’s recovery of no-fault benefits from his employer's no-fault carrier.

In addition, the Court of Appeals held that §3109(1) of the statute, which permits a setoff of workers' compensation benefits against no-fault benefits, is constitutional. The Court noted that this setoff provision has already been declared constitutional by the Michigan Supreme Court in O'Donnell v State Farm (item number 142) insofar as it permits a setoff of Social Security benefits. The Court of Appeals held that the case for constitutionality of the setoff provision is even stronger where workers' compensation benefits are sought to be set off. This is because workers' compensation benefits are "noncontributory" whereas Social Security benefits are contributed to by the injured person.