This page identifies recent decisions and orders issued by the Michigan Supreme Court that deal with the Michigan Auto No-Fault Act.
Over the last year, the Supreme Court has issued two new decisions dealing with the Auto No-Fault Act, and there are currently five cases pending decision before the Court. The first of the two recently decided cases is the case of Willie Griffin v Trumball Ins (decided 7/15/2022). In Griffin, the Court held that a motorcyclist exercised all required amounts of due diligence in attempting to identify the no-fault insurer that was responsible for paying benefits under the priority provisions of MCL 500.3114. The second case that was decided in the last year is the case of Mecosta County Medical Center v Metropolitan Group Property & Casualty Ins Co (decided 6/10/2022). In Mecosta, the Court held that Mecosta County Medical Center’s first-party action seeking no-fault PIP benefits was not barred by either res judicata or collateral estoppel).
The five cases that remain pending before the Supreme Court are Moody v Zakir et al (deciding whether the “rescission of an insurance policy . . . bars recovery of noneconomic damages.”); Andary, et al v USAA et al (deciding whether the new changes to the no-fault act will have retroactive application); Ravenell, et al v ACIA (deciding whether an insurer is entitled to equitable subrogation after mistakenly paying no-fault benefits); and Bellmore v Friendly Oil Change, Inc et al (deciding whether plaintiff’s injuries arose out of the maintenance of a motor vehicle under the meaning of MCL 500.3105(1); and whether the plaintiff’s motor vehicle was “parked” under the meaning of MCL 500.3106(1) at the time of her injuries.); and Flowers v Wilson (deciding whether an insurer’s promise to indemnify its insured for excess medical expenses, which the insurer considers to be unreasonable, prevents the insured from bringing an action against the insurer to recover PIP benefits for those expenses).
Additional information about these recent and pending no-fault decisions is provided below.
Recent Decisions by the Michigan Supreme Court
Griffin v Trumbull Ins Co, et al
In this 4 – 3 Opinion by Justice Welch (joined by Justices McCormack, Bernstein, and Cavanagh) involving an injured motorcyclist’s claim for PIP benefits from his own auto no-fault insurer, summary disposition for the defendant insurer was REVERSED because the motorcyclist exercised all required degrees in due diligence in attempting to identify the striking driver’s no-fault insurer.
Mecosta Co Med Ctr v Metro Group Prop & Cas Ins Co
In this unanimous decision authored by Justice Viviano, the Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the Court of Appeals, which held that Plaintiff Mecosta County Medical Center’s (“Mecosta”) first-party action seeking no-fault PIP benefits from Defendant Metropolitan Group Property and Casualty Insurance Company (“Metropolitan”) was not barred by either res judicata or collateral estoppel. The Supreme Court held that Mecosta’s assignee was not bound by the judgment in a separate first-party action against Metropolitan, because Mecosta obtained its assignment before the judgment in that action was entered.
No-Fault Cases Currently Pending Before the Michigan Supreme Court
Moody v Zakir, et al
On March 23, 2022, the Supreme Court directed the Clerk to schedule a mini oral argument on the application. In doing so, the Court instructed the parties to file a supplemental briefing addressing the issue of “whether the rescission of an insurance policy under the no-fault act, MCL 500.3101 et seq., bars recovery of noneconomic damages under MCL 500.3135(2)(c) on the basis that the claimant “did not have in effect . . . the security required by [MCL 500.3101(1)] at the time the injury occurred.”
Andary, et al v USAA et al
On September 29, 2022, the Supreme Court issued an Order granting leave to appeal and instructed the parties to file supplemental briefs addressing: “ whether the Court of Appeals erred when it: (1) held that claimants injured before the effective date of 2019 PA 21 are not subject to the limitations on benefits set forth in MCL 500.3157(7) and (10); (2) held that application of the amended statute to such claimants would violate the Contracts Clause of the Michigan Constitution, Const 1963, art 1, § 10; and (3) remanded the case to the circuit court for discovery to determine whether the no-fault amendments, even when applied only prospectively, pass constitutional muster.”
Ravenell, et al v ACIA
On November 2, 2022, the Supreme Court directed the Clerk of the Court to schedule mini oral argument on the application and instructed the parties to address “the extent to which the reasonableness of an insurer’s mistaken belief that it was required to pay a claim is a factor in determining whether the insurer is entitled to equitable subrogation.”
Bellmore v Friendly Oil Change, Inc et al
On January 11, 2023, the Supreme Court directed the Clerk to schedule oral argument on the application with instructions to the parties to provide supplemental briefing on: “(1) whether the plaintiff’s alleged injuries arose out of the ‘maintenance . . . of a motor vehicle as a motor vehicle’ within the meaning of MCL 500.3105(1); and (2) whether the plaintiff’s motor vehicle was ‘parked’ within the meaning of MCL 500.3106(1).”
Flowers v Wilson
On March 22, 2023, the Supreme Court directed the Clerk of the Court to schedule oral argument on the application with instructions to the parties to file supplemental briefing addressing “whether an insurer’s partial payment of the insured’s medical expenses on the basis of what the insurer considers reasonable, along with the insurer’s promise to defend and indemnify the insured with respect to any remaining liability to the insured’s healthcare providers if they challenge the amounts paid or seek additional payment, deprives the insured of a cause of action for personal protection insurance benefits for allowable expenses pursuant to MCL 500.3107(1)(a).”