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Mase v Auto Owners Insurance Company; (COA-UNP, 9/23/1992; RB #1576)

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Michigan Court of Appeals; Docket No. 132002; Unpublished 
Judges Hood, Connor, and Kaufman; Unanimous; Per Curiam 
Official Michigan Reporter Citation:  Not Applicable; Link to Opinion alt  


STATUTORY INDEXING: 
Allowable Expenses for Attendant Care [§3107(1)(a)] 
Allowable Expenses for Home Accommodations [§3107(1)(a)] 
Allowable Expenses: Incurred Expense Requirement [§3107(1)(a)]

TOPICAL INDEXING:    
Civil Judgments and Interest (MCL 600.6013)   


CASE SUMMARY: 
In this unanimous unpublished per curiam Opinion, the Court of Appeals held that where plaintiff obtained a declaratory judgment against defendant which found that defendant was liable for certain home construction and modification expenses totaling $138,500 necessitated by plaintiff’s paraplegia, plaintiff was not entitled to a judgment awarding that specific sum of money until the plaintiff actually incurred the expense. The court stated, "an action for declaratory relief is proper before an expense is actually incurred. When a dispute arises a trial court is not precluded from entering a declaratory judgment determining that an expense is both necessary and allowable and the amount that will be allowed. However, the judgment the trial court entered on the verdict did not declare plaintiff’s rights, but merely awarded her money. This was error. Defendant cannot be ordered to pay until plaintiff actually incurs the expense of obtaining new housing."   

With regard to plaintiff’s claim for attendant care, the Court of Appeals held that where plaintiff required 24-hour a day attendant care, the defendant insurance company could not require plaintiff’s husband to act as the attendant at night without compensating him. The court stated, "the no-fault act pays for reasonably necessary services incurred for an injured person's care, even when those services are provided by a family member.... If plaintiff s husband acts as defendant's attendant, he is entitled to compensation for his service. Defendant cannot simply impress him into its service without recompense." 

Finally, the court held that plaintiff’s lawsuit was in reality a lawsuit based upon a no-fault automobile insurance contract, and therefore, the trial court erred in awarding prejudgment interest under MCLA 600.6013(6) rather than MCLA 600.6013(5) regarding judgments rendered on a written instrument. The court stated, "while the terms of the contract may have been dictated by the no-fault act, defendant's liability was created by the contract. Thus, the trial court's judgment was rendered on a written instrument. On remand, the trial court should recalculate the interest awarded using the fixed rate provided in MCLA 600.6013(5)."  


Lansing car accident lawyer Stephen Sinas is the lead editor of the appellate case summaries published on this site regarding the Michigan auto insurance law. To learn more about how Stephen Sinas and how the Sinas Dramis Law Firm can help you if you have been injured in a Michigan auto accident, visit SinasDramis.com.

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