Michigan Court of Appeals; Docket No. 127446; Unpublished
Judges Holbrook, Sullivan, and Taylor; Unanimous; Per Curiam
Official Michigan Reporter Citation: Not Applicable; Link to Opinion
Coordination with Other Health and Accident Medical Insurance [§3109a]
No-Fault Insurer Claims for Reimbursement
In this unanimous unpublished per curiam Opinion, the Court of Appeals held that a coordinated no-fault insurer's subrogation claim seeking reimbursement for medical expenses it paid on behalf of the accident victim insured by defendant health insurance company was barred by the three year statute of limitations contained in defendant's medical insurance group plans covering plaintiff. The court held that plaintiff no-fault insurance company, as subrogee, steps into the shoes of the insured person and acquires rights against the defendant group health insurance plan that are no greater than those rights that the insured person would have against the plan. In this case, the injured person would not be able to collect health insurance benefits under the three year statute of limitations, and therefore, plaintiff no-fault insurer is not able to circumvent this limitation period. The court stated, "regardless of whether a right of subrogation arises by operation of law or by contract, the controlling general principles are the same: the subrogee, upon paying an obligation owed to the subrogor has the primary responsibility of a third party, is substituted in the place of the subrogor, thereby attaining the same and no greater rights to recover against the third party. . . . [The three year limitations period] would have barred the insured's claim for benefits and, consequently, it barred plaintiff’s subrogation claims as well." The court also held mat there was nothing about the three year statute of limitations that was unreasonable. In addition, there was no evidence that the defendant group health plan did anything to induce plaintiff or the insureds to refrain from submitting a claim or bringing an action within the applicable time limit.