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Drake v Gordon; (6TH CIR-PUB, 6/1/1988; RB #1193)


United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit; Docket No. 86-2031;    
Judges Lively, Wellford, and McRae; Unanimous; Published
Official Federal Reporter Citation:  848 F. 2d 701; Link to Opinion alt   

Obligation of Non-Resident Owner/Registrant to Insure a Vehicle [§3102(1)]  
Disqualification for Nonresidents [§3113(c)]  
General / Miscellaneous [§3135]

Legislative Purpose and Intent    

In this unanimous Opinion by Judge Wellford, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the District Court's decision that a non-resident plaintiff who was in Michigan less than 30 days and involved in an accident with a Michigan insured defendant, could legally be precluded from suing in tort for non-economic losses that fall below the threshold of serious impairment of body function. In addition, the disqualification from PIP benefits set forth in §3113(c) is also valid. The Court relied on the Michigan Court of Appeals decision in Gersien v Blackwell (Item No. 461). With regard to the allegation that the Michigan no-fault scheme vis-a-vis out-of-state motorists violates the constitutional right to travel, the Court stated "we will concede the issue is a close one for the reasons previously discussed. We nevertheless, conclude that the impact of the Michigan no-fault statute upon plaintiff’s right to travel is not sufficient to raise to the level of a constitutional violation."

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