Michigan Court of Appeals; Docket No. 54477; Published
Judges Riley, R. B. Burns, and Everett; Per Curiam
Official Michigan Reporter Citation: 117 Mich App 155
Work Loss Benefits: Calculation of Benefits [§3107(1)(b)]
This Opinion reversed the Circuit Court Opinion on appeal and the District Court opinion (item numbers 262 and 351) and held that the value of fringe benefits, such as profit sharing payments, pension contributions and employer health insurance payments are not recoverable as items of "work loss" within the meaning of §3107(b) of the Act. Citing the Uniform Motor Vehicle Accident Reparations Act (UMVARA) and the Supreme Court's opinion of Miller v State Farm (item number 378), the Court stated, "This Court is convinced, therefore, that work loss benefits as per §3107(b) are limited to lost wages or salary income."
The Court also held that the District Court does not have jurisdiction to enter a damage award in excess of the jurisdictional amount of the District Court.
However, the Court stated that a valid damage award may be combined with costs, attorney fees and interest to exceed the jurisdictional amount, without rendering the excess amount void as being excessive of the District Court's jurisdiction. The Court noted that to hold otherwise would be to reward ah insurance company defendant who unnecessarily delayed the payment of benefits.