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Thacker v DAIIE; (COA-PUB, 3/18/1982; RB #511)


Michigan Court of Appeals; Docket No. 52984; Published  
Judges Bashara, Kaufman, and Banks; Per Curiam  
Official Michigan Reporter Citation: 114 Mich App 374; Link to Opinion alt   

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

Workers Disability Compensation Act (MCL 418.1, et seq.)  

In this 2-1 per curiam Opinion, the Court held that where the plaintiff redeemed his auto accident related workers' compensation claim for $25,000, plaintiff’s no-fault company was, under the language of §3109(1), entitled to continue to setoff the full amount of plaintiff s monthly workers' compensation benefits that plaintiff would have received had he chosen to continue receiving the periodic workers' comp benefits rather than redeem his claim. This was so in spite of the fact had plaintiff not redeemed his workers' comp claim, he would have received an additional $8,566.28 in workers' comp benefits during the three year no-fault wage period.

The Court held that the meaning of "required" as used in §3109(1) is "to ask or insist upon, as by right or authority; demand." The Court went on to say that, "Applying that language literally to this case would lead us to conclude that the workers' compensation benefits 'required by the laws of the state' are those which the compensation provider would have to pay. Or, stated another way, those benefits which the plaintiff had the right to insist upon. That amount is clearly the sum which plaintiff could have received, had he elected to take his periodic benefits for the entire time he was entitled to them. Any lesser amount would not fit the definition."

Judge Bashara dissented. He noted that the Workers' Comp Act permitted redemptions for a lesser lump sum than the workers' comp carrier would otherwise have to pay. In this case, the additional $8,566.28 will not be paid to the plaintiff by his workers' comp carrier because it is "not required to be provided" given the statute permitting redemptions and because the plaintiff was willing to settle for less.

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