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Tebo v Havlik/Burns v Carver; (MSc-PUB, 2/6/1984; RB #700)


Michigan Supreme Court; docket No. 68033; Published  
Opinion by Judge Brickley; 5-2  
Official Michigan Reporter Citation: 418 Mich 350; Link to Opinion alt    

Standards for Deductibility of State and Federal Governmental Benefits [§3109(1)]

Collateral Source Rule (MCL 600.6303)    

In this 5-2 majority Opinion written by Justice Brickley, the Supreme Court held that the common-law collateral-source rule has not been abolished by the No-Fault Statute in those tort actions brought against a non-motorist tortfeasor by a plaintiff who has recovered no-fault PIP benefits. Thus, the plaintiff may recover his or her full damages from the non-motorist tortfeasor even though a portion of those damages (such as wage loss and medical expenses) were paid by a no-fault insurer. Justice Brickley reasoned that careful analysis of the setoff provisions of the No-Fault Statute (§3109, etc.) reveals a careful legislative effort to limit tort recovery only where the limitation would benefit a no-fault insurer. There is no indication that the legislature intended to benefit the dram shop defendants or their insurers. Thus, their liability is not affected by the No-Fault Statute and they cannot claim a setoff for PIP benefits otherwise received by the plaintiff. Justice Levin dissented in an opinion joined by Justice Kavanaugh. they would not extend the common-law collateral-source rule to cases where the plaintiff is receiving no-fault benefits.

Also in this opinion, the Court unanimously held that the new "name and retain" rule set forth in Putney v Haskins should be given prospective effect only.

[Author's Comment: This affirms the Court of Appeals decision in item number 433.]

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

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