Michigan Court of Appeals; Docket #359096; Unpublished
Judges Patel, Borrello, and Shapiro; Per Curiam
Official Michigan Reporter Citation: Not Applicable; Link to Opinion
2019 PA 21 – Retroactivity
In this unanimous, unpublished, per curiam decision, the Court of Appeals reversed the trial court’s denial of Defendant Progressive Michigan Insurance Company’s (“Progressive”) motion for summary disposition, in which Progressive sought dismissal of Plaintiff Health Partners, Inc.’s (“Health Partners”) action for unpaid No-Fault PIP benefits against it. The claims at issue all accrued prior to June 11, 2019, and thus, in reliance on Spine Specialists of Michigan, PC v MemberSelect Ins Co ___ Mich App ___ (2023), the Court of Appeals held that the former version of MCL 500.3145 applied to this case, and that Health Partners’ claims were barred thereunder.
Kenny Scoczylas was catastrophically injured in a motor vehicle accident that occurred in October of 2017, and thereafter received attendant care from Health Partners. Progressive issued only partial payments on bills it received from Health Partners for dates of service, December 30, 2017 to March 10, 2019, and Health Partners filed suit on March 11, 2020 to recover the difference. After discovery, Progressive moved for partial summary disposition, arguing (1) that the former version of MCL 500.3145 applied to the claims at issue because all dates of service were prior to June 11, 2019, the effective date of the 2019 amendments to the No-Fault Act, and (2) that Health Partners’ claims were barred by the former version of the one-year-back rule . Health Partners opposed the motion, arguing (1) that the date it filed suit was the operative date for purposes of determining which version of MCL 500.3145 applied, and (2) that there was a question of fact as to whether Progressive “formally denied” the claims at issue. The trial court ultimately agreed with Health Partners and denied Progressive’s motion.
The Court of Appeals reversed the trial court’s denial of Progressive’s motion for summary disposition, based on its recent decision in Spine Specialists of Michigan, PC v MemberSelect Ins Co ___ Mich App ___ (2023). In Spine Specialists, the Court held that the operative date for determining which version of MCL 500.3145 applies is the date the subject treatment is rendered. Accordingly, since the treatment at issue in this case was rendered prior to the effective date of the 2019 amendments to the No-Fault Act, the former version of MCL 500.3145 applied and barred Health Partners’ claims.
“This Court recently resolved this issue in Spine Specialists, and held that the amendments to § 3145 do not apply retroactively to claims that accrued before June 10, 2019, the effective date of the amendments. Id. at __; slip op at 5. Citing Andary v USAA Casualty Ins Co, __ Mich App __; __ NW2d __ (2022), this Court reasoned that “[i]n the absence of any Legislative statement of retroactive application, and in light of the presumption against retroactive application of a statutory amendment . . . the amendment to MCL 500.3145 does not apply retroactively.” Spine Specialists, __ Mich App at __; slip op at 3-4.
Spine Specialists is directly applicable to the facts of this case and is binding. See MCR 7.215(C)(2). The pre-amendment version of § 3145 applies to the claims at issue here, which were incurred from December 2017 through March 10, 2019. Plaintiff cannot.”