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Jackson v Austin; (IDC-UNP, 10/15/1979; RB #248)


Wayne County Circuit Court; Docket No. 77-739521-CK; Unpublished   
Judge William J. Giovan   
Official Michigan Reporter Citation: Not Applicable; Link to Opinion alt    

General / Miscellaneous[§3171]
Obligation of the Assigned Claims Facility to Promptly Assign Claim [§3174]
Time Limitation on a Claimant Making a Claim Through the Assigned Claims Facility [§3174]

Not Applicable    

In a written Opinion, Judge Giovan held that when notification of a personal injury accident is given to the Secretary of State, Assigned Claims Facility under the Assigned Claims Plan (section 3171 et seq. of the no-fault statute), the Secretary of State may not decline to assign the claim to an insurance company on the ground of the expiration of the statute of limitations. The Court held that the defense of the limitation period is not one for assertion by the Secretary of State but only by the insurance company to whom the claim is assigned. Such a result is necessary in order to avoid a lengthy trial on the statute of limitations defense which would delay the eventual assignment of the claim to an insurance company. Such a delay could prejudice the insurer's defense and the merits of the claim and could unnecessarily delay payment.

In further support of his conclusion, Judge Giovan noted that the limitation period for notifying the Assigned Claims Facility is not necessarily a calendar year from the date of the accident. This can be seen from the first sentence in §3174. Thus, the true limitations period applicable to the Assigned Claims Facility can only be determined from the facts of each particular case.

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