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Auto Club Insurance Association v New York Life Insurance Company; (COA-PUB, 11/29/1990; RB #1436)


Michigan Court of Appeals; Docket No. 115365; Published  
Judges Gribbs, Cavanagh, and Marilyn Kelly; Unanimous; Per Curiam  
Official Michigan Reporter Citation:  187 Mich App 276; Link to Opinion alt   

One-Year Notice Rule Limitation [§3145(1)]  
Applicability of Limitations Period to Claims by Insurers Against Other Insurers [§3145]

No-Fault Insurer Claims for Reimbursement  

In this unanimous per curiam Opinion, the Court of Appeals, on leave granted from the trial court denial of defendant's motion for summary disposition, reversed the decision of the trial court and held that the one-year limitation period of §3145(1) does apply to the no-fault insurer's claim for reimbursement of a portion of the injured person's medical expenses which were covered under the defendant health insurance company's policy. 

In this case, the insured died on October 10, 1984. Auto Club paid personal protection benefits to its insured and subsequently sought reimbursement from New York Life of a portion of those benefits. The action herein was filed on August 15, 1988. The medical insurer filed a motion for summary disposition based upon the one-year limitation contained in §3145(1), which section provides that an action for recovery of personal protection insurance benefits payable under this chapter may not be commenced later than one year after the date of the accident. 

The Court of Appeals noted that there is a conflict among panels of the court as to whether the one-year statute of limitations set forth in §3145 applies when a no-fault insurer sues another insurer. The cases of Madden v Employers Insurance of Wausau (Item No. 1129) and Adams v Auto Club (Item No. 950) have both held that §3145 is inapplicable to an insurance company's claim for reimbursement of money paid by mistake. 

In this case, the Court of Appeals relied on the line of cases applying §3145 to such actions. Bohlinger v DAIIE, 120 Mich App 269 (1982); Allstate Insurance v Frankenmuth Mutual, 111 Mich App 617(1981); Home Insurance Company v Rosequin, 90 Mich App 682 (1979). The court agreed with the dissent of Judge Townsendin Adams, supra, who argued that consistent application of the one-year period of limitations is in keeping with the No-Fault Act's purpose to insure prompt settlement of claims.

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