United States Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals; Docket No. 80-1574; Published
Judges Weick, Lively, and Phillips; Unanimous
Official Federal Reporter Citation: 669 F 2d 421; Link to Opinion
Federal Jurisdiction and Removal of PIP Claims
In this written Opinion, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals held that on the basis of the diversity of citizenship provisions of 28 USC §1332, the Federal Court has no jurisdiction where a party claiming damages arising out of the use of a motor vehicle sues the insurer of the vehicle under the Michigan no-fault statute on a policy issued thereunder, where the plaintiff and the insured owner of the vehicle,
though not a party, are citizens of the same state. The type of insurance benefits at issue in this case were property protection insurance benefits under §3121. Plaintiff, Ford Motor Company, suffered the property damage when a tanker truck exploded at Ford's plant.
The Court noted that there had been four published decisions from the Eastern District of Michigan construing §3132(c) in no-fault actions. Two of those opinions (McMuny v Prudential Property and Tyson v Connecticut General) concluded that the direct action statute should be applied to first party actions under the Michigan No-Fault Act even though such lawsuits were not traditional "liability insurance" suits. The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals stated, "We conclude that the decisions in McMuny and Tyson contain the correct view of the applicability of the 1964 amendment to actions under the Michigan No-Fault Act" Thus, the Court concluded it had no jurisdiction in this case.