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Faison, et al v Hartford Ins Co, et al; (COA-UNP, 04/10/14; RB #3395)

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Michigan Court of Appeals; Docket #313555; Unpublished  
Judges Servitto, Fort Hood, and Beckering; Unanimous; Per Curiam  
Official Michigan Reporter Citation:  Not applicable; Link to Opinion alt   


STATUTORY INDEXING:  
Compulsory Insurance Requirements for Owners or Registrants of Motor Vehicles Required to be Registered [§3101(1)]  
Obligation of Non-Resident Owner/Registrant to Insure a Vehicle [§3102(1)]  
Obligations of Admitted Insurers to Pay PIP Benefits on Behalf of Non-Residents Injured in Michigan [§3163(1)]

TOPICAL INDEXING:
Not applicable    


CASE SUMMARY:  
In this unanimous unpublished per curiam Opinion the Court of Appeals reversed the trial court determination that plaintiff was entitled to PIP benefits and held that there was no genuine issue of material fact with regard to the fact that plaintiff had lived and operated a vehicle in Michigan for over 30 days as of the date of his motor vehicle accident and, therefore, was required to register and insure that vehicle pursuant to MCL 500.3101(1) and MCL 500.3102(1). Those statutory provisions establish that non-resident owners of vehicles not registered in Michigan shall not operate or permit them to be operated in Michigan for an aggregate of more than 30 days in any calendar year, unless he or she continuously maintains security for the payment of benefits. Further, Michigan residents are required to purchase no-fault vehicle insurance policies under §3101(1) in order to operate a vehicle in Michigan.

In this case, plaintiff alleged that he was a resident of Maryland when he was involved in a motor vehicle accident in the state of Michigan. When he sought PIP benefits, those benefits were denied on the basis that evidence existed that he, in fact, had spent more than 30 days in Michigan during 2010, the year of the accident, and, therefore, was required to have insured the vehicle. Defendant Hartford submitted evidence in the form of admissions by plaintiff that he had lived in Michigan for more than 30 days, consisting of evidence of plaintiff’s “actual historical conduct” as evidenced by a phone call to the insurance company on September 1, 2010 in which he stated that he was no longer a resident of Maryland and in which he instructed defendant’s representative to change his billing address to Michigan. After the accident, plaintiff admitted that he had been living in Michigan continuously from September 1, 2010 through the date of the accident on December 22, 2010.

Although the provisions of MCL 500.3163(1) would allow for out-of-state residents to be entitled to PIP benefits if they are involved in an automobile accident in Michigan, in this case, the court held that under MCL 500.3102(1), plaintiff was obligated to insure the vehicle because he operated it in the State for an aggregate of 30 days in Michigan during the 2010 calendar year. The court held that plaintiff’s state of residency was not the relative inquiry for purposes of eligibility for PIP benefits in this instance. The court further held that plaintiff’s conclusory assertions that he spent less than 30 days in Michigan in 2010 were insufficient to create a question of a genuine issue of material fact where his actual historical conduct demonstrated that he was living and operating a vehicle in Michigan for over 30 days.

Accordingly, the trial court denial of Hartford’s motion for summary disposition was reversed.


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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