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