Wayne County Circuit Court; Docket No. 77-715-189CK; Unpublished
Judge John R. Kirwan; Written Opinion
Official Michigan Reporter Citation: Link to Opinion; Not Applicable
Exception for Employer Provided Vehicles [§3114(3)]
Workers Disability Compensation Act (MCL 418.1, et seq.)
In a five page written Opinion, Circuit Judge John R. Kirwan held that the exclusive remedy rule of the workers' compensation act did not bar an injured employee from receiving his no-fault PIP benefits from his employer's insurance carrier. Judge Kirwan reasoned that the term "employer" as used in the exclusive remedy statute (MCLA 418.131) includes an employer's insurance carrier only in the instances where the insurer furnishes or fails to furnish safety inspections or safely advisory services incident to providing workers' compensation insurance. Inasmuch as no-fault benefit cases have nothing to do with the defendant insurance company's furnishing or failing to furnish such safety inspections, the defendant insurance company is not included within the definition of "employer" as used in the exclusivity provision.
The Court also held that Mathis v Interstate Motor Freight Systems (item number 28) does not control this situation in that the defendant in Mathis was actually the employer and not the employer's insurance carrier.
Furthermore, the Court found no conflict in the provisions of the Workers' Compensation Act and §3114(3) of the no-fault act which makes specific provision for a claim by an employee who suffers accidental bodily injury while an occupant of his employer's vehicle. The Court noted that the defendant insurance company had received premiums for both the workers' compensation coverage and the no-fault coverage and accordingly, the insurance company should be required to pay benefits under both policies where the law gives such a right.