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Pending and Recently Decided No-Fault Supreme Court Cases

So far this year, the Supreme Court has decided one new no-fault case. That case was the case of Turner, et al v Farmers Ins Exch, et al (MSC – PUB; 1/29/2021; Docket Nos. 150660 & 150661). In Turner, the Supreme Court held that Enterprise Rental Car was not the insurer of highest priority under the no-fault act’s then-applicable priority rules (which have since been changed pursuant to the 2019 amendments). In doing so, the Court interpreted the phrase “owner or registrant of the vehicle occupied” in the former MCL 500.3114(4) to mean “owner or registrant of a motor vehicle required to be registered in this state.”

No new no-fault cases have been taken up by our High Court this year. There are, however, two cases that currently remain pending before the Supreme Court pursuant to Orders issued in 2020. Those cases are Esurance Property & Cas Ins Co v Mich Assigned Claims Plan, et al (Docket No. 160592) (deciding whether “a finding that an insurance policy was void ab initio because it was procured by fraud bars a subsequent claim for equitable subrogation for benefits that were paid pursuant to that policy before it was found to be void.”); and Bronner v City of Detroit (Docket No. 160242) (deciding whether “the Court of Appeals erred in holding that the no-fault insurance act, MCL 500.3101 et seq., precluded the City of Detroit from seeking contractual indemnification from GFL Environmental USA, Inc. for the City’s payment of personal protection insurance (PIP) benefits.”)

Additional information about these cases is provided below, along with other associated relevant links.

No-Fault Cases Recently Decided by the Michigan Supreme Court


Turner by Sakowski, et al. v. Farmers Ins Exch, et al. (SC – PUB 1/29/2021; RB #4245)

→ Link to Opinion

In this 4-2 decision (Clement concurring; Cavanagh and Viviano dissenting) featuring two priority disputes between Defendants Enterprise Leasing Corporation of Detroit, LLC (“Enterprise”)and Farmers Insurance Exchange (“Farmers”), the Michigan Supreme Court ruled that Enterprise was not the insurer of highest priority under the no-fault act’s then-applicable priority rules (which were subsequently changed pursuant to the 2019 amendments).  Relying on its decision in Parks v Detroit Auto Inter-InsExch, 426 Mich 191 (1986), the Court read the phrase “owner or registrant of the vehicle occupied” in the former MCL 500.3114(4) to really mean “owner or registrant of a motor vehicle required to be registered in this state.” Therefore, even though Enterprise was an authorized self-insured entity under the no-fault act and the owner and registrant of the two vehicles in questionit was not a priority insurer under the former MCL 500.3114(4)(a) because the two vehicles were neither registered in Michigan not required to be registered in Michigan.

Link to COA OpinionLink to COA Dissent

Link to Case Summary

Link to Oral Argument

No-Fault Cases Currently Pending Before the Michigan Supreme Court


Esurance Prop & Cas Ins Co v Mich Assigned Claims Plan

→ Link to Docket

On September 23, 2020, the Supreme Court directed the Clerk to schedule “argument on the application” and instructed the parties to brief the issue of “whether a finding that an insurance policy was void ab initio because it was procured by fraud bars a subsequent claim for equitable subrogation for benefits that were paid pursuant to that policy before it was found to be void.

Link to Order

Link to Case Summary

Link to Oral Argument


Bronner v City of Detroit

→ Link to Docket

On July 2, 2020, the Supreme Court directed the Clerk to schedule oral argument “on the application” and instructed the parties to brief the issue of “whether the Court of Appeals erred in holding that the no-fault insurance act, MCL 500.3101 et seq., precluded the City of Detroit from seeking contractual indemnification from GFL Environmental USA, Inc. for the City’s payment of personal protection insurance (PIP) benefits.

Link to Order

Link to Case Summary

Link to Oral Argument