Injured? Contact Sinas Dramis for a free consultation.

   

Welcome to the Michigan Auto No-Fault Law Digital Library

The Michigan No-Fault Act was adopted in 1973, and since then, there have been over 4000 Michigan appellate court opinions regarding the law. Sinas Dramis Law Firm has written case summaries regarding virtually all these opinions and continues to do so at the present time. The Michigan Auto No-Fault Law Digital Library is a compilation of all the case summaries from Sinas Dramis Law Firm. The case summaries are freely provided to further our goal of educating the public about the Michigan Auto No-Fault Law.

The Digital Library is fully searchable. Therefore, searching by case name or relevant terms is a good way to find the case summary and opinion. There is also an indexing system that allows you to find a case through a statutory indextopical indexalphabetical index, or chronological index.


To make it easy for the public to understand the latest developments in the law, the recent case summaries are listed below.

Recent Cases

Anderson v Transdev Services, Inc, et al (COA – Pub 5/12/2022; RB #4405)
In this unanimous, published decision authored by Judge Markey, the Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court’s summary disposition order dismissing Plaintiff Marsha Anderson’s third-party negligence action against Defendants Transdev Services, Inc. and MI Rail (collectively, “the defendants”). The Court of Appeals held, first, that bus drivers are not required to wait until an onboarding passenger complete a ticket-related transactions at the front of the bus before accelerating from a stop. The Court of Appeals held, second, that evidence that Anderson and her friend fell after the defendants’ bus driver accelerated, in and of itself, was not sufficient to create a question of fact as to whether the driver acted negligently by accelerating in an unnecessarily violent and sudden manner.

Bellmore v Friendly Oil Change, Inc., et al (COA – PUB 5/12/2022; RB #4406)
In this unanimous, published decision authored by Judge Cavanagh, the Court of Appeals reversed the trial court’s summary disposition order in favor of Plaintiff Karen Louise Bellmore, in Bellmore’s first-party action against Defendant State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company (“State Farm”), and remanded for entry of an order granting summary disposition in State Farm’s favor. The Court of Appeals held, first, that Bellmore’s injuries—which she sustained when she accidentally fell into the service pit beneath her vehicle while getting an oil change—did not arise out of the maintenance of her motor vehicle for purposes of MCL 500.3105(1). The Court of Appeals held, second, that Bellmore’s vehicle was not “parked” for purposes of MCL 500.3106(1) at the moment Bellmore fell into the service pit.

Johnson v Geico Indemnity Co (COA – UNP 5/12/2022; RB #4407)
In this unanimous, unpublished, per curiam decision (Murray, concurring), the Court of Appeals— on remand from the Supreme Court—vacated the trial court’s denial of Defendant Geico Indemnity Company’s (“Geico”) motion for summary disposition, in which Geico sought dismissal of Plaintiff Kimberly Johnson’s first-party action against it on the basis of fraud. The Court of Appeals originally reversed the trial court’s denial of Geico’s motion—and remanded to the trial court for entry of an order granting summary disposition in Geico’s favor—based on Bahri v IDS Prop Cas Ins Co, 308 Mich App 420 (2014). Johnson then sought leave to appeal to the Supreme Court, which vacated the Court of Appeals’ reversal and remanded for reconsideration under Meemic Ins Co v Fortson, 506 Mich 287 (2020). Applying Meemic on remand, the Court of Appeals held that Geico could not rescind Johnson’s policy altogether on the basis of fraud, but would still be entitled to summary disposition as to any claims Johnson submitted which were clearly fraudulent.

Kaur v Citizens Ins Co of the Midwest, et al (COA – UNP 4/21/2022; RB #4402)
In this unanimous, unpublished, per curiam decision, the Court of Appeals reversed three separate orders of the trial court: that which granted Plaintiff Harbans Kaur’s motion for summary disposition on the issue of whether her injuries arose out of the use of a motor vehicle as a motor vehicle for purposes of MCL 500.3105; that which granted Defendant Meemic Insurance Company’s (“Meemic”) motion for summary disposition on the issue of Kaur’s domicile at the time of the subject incident; and that which denied Defendant Citizens Insurance Company of the Midwest’s (“Citizens”) motion to compel supplementation of discovery and, specifically, to depose Kaur a second time and have her undergo another insurance medical examination (IME). Regarding Kaur’s motion, the Court of Appeals held that a question of fact existed as to whether Kaur’s injuries arose out of the use of a motor vehicle as a motor vehicle, considering there was conflicting testimony (1) as to whether Kaur was a struck by a vehicle at all, and (2) whether Kaur needed to take evasive action to avoid the oncoming vehicle she claimed struck her. Regarding Meemic’s motion, the Court of Appeals held that a question of fact existed as to whether Kaur was domiciled in Canada at the time of the subject incident, or with her son/Meemic’s insured, Jagdeep Singh, in Canton, Michigan. Regarding Citizens’s motion, the Court of Appeals held that the trial court abused its discretion when it ruled that Citizens could not re-depose Kaur or order that Kaur undergo another IME, considering that the various appellate proceedings in this case took several years to resolve, leaving Citizens without a full understanding of the present status of Kaur’s injuries and claims.

ISpine, PLLC v State Farm Mut Auto Ins Co (COA – UNP 4/14/2022; RB #4400)
In this unanimous, unpublished, per curiam decision, the Court of Appeals reversed the trial court’s dismissal of Plaintiff ISpine, PLLC’s (“ISpine”) first-party action against Defendant State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company (“State Farm”) as a discovery sanction. The Court of Appeals held that a trial court cannot compel a provider—e.g., ISpine—to produce its patient’s medical authorizations in a first-party action brought by the provider pursuant to an assignment. Furthermore, the Court of Appeals held that the trial court failed to balance the factors set forth in Vicencio v Ramirez, 211 Mich App 501 (1995) for determining whether dismissal is an appropriate sanction for a discovery violation.

Archangel Physical Therapy, LLC v State Farm Mut Auto Ins Co (COA – UNP 3/24/2022; RB #4398) 
In this unanimous, unpublished, per curiam decision, the Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court’s summary disposition order dismissing Plaintiff Archangel Physical Therapy, LLC’s (“Archangel”) first-party action to recover no-fault PIP benefits from Defendant State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company (“State Farm”).  The Court of Appeals held that Archangel failed to present any evidence in support of its claim that State Farm engaged in pre-suit negotiations in bad faith, with the intention of forestalling Archangel from filing its complaint until more than one year passed since the date Archangel last rendered treatment to State Farm’s insured.  As a result, the Court rejected Archangel’s argument that State Farm should be equitably estopped from invoking the one-year back rule as a defense against Archangel’s claims.

Hanback v MemberSelect Ins Co (COA – UNP 3/24/2022; RB #4397)  
In this unanimous, unpublished, per curiam decision, the Court of Appeals reversed the trial court’s denial of Defendant MemberSelect Insurance Company’s (“MemberSelect”) motion for summary disposition—in which MemberSelect sought dismissal of Plaintiff Brittney Hanback’s action against it for underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage—and remanded for entry of summary disposition in MemberSelect’s favor.  The Court of Appeals held that Hanback could not pursue UIM coverage under her policy with MemberSelect because she failed to comply with the controlling provisions of said policy: specifically, that which required her to obtain MemberSelect’s consent before settling her auto-negligence claim against the at-fault driver.  In so holding, the Court concluded that a letter MemberSelect wrote to Hanback—in which it informed her that UIM coverage under her policy “would not come into play until all underlying policies had been exhausted through either a judgment or a settlement”—did not operate as a waiver of the aforementioned provision.

Edwards, et al v Cormier, et al (COA – UNP 3/17/2022; RB #4396)
In this unanimous, unpublished, per curiam decision, the Court of Appeals reversed the trial court’s denial of Defendant Rashaad Cormier’s motion for summary disposition, in which Cormier sought dismissal of Plaintiff Shannon Edwards’s third-party, gross negligence claim against him, and remanded for entry of an order granting Cormier’s motion. The Court of Appeals held that Cormier, a Michigan State Police trooper, was not grossly negligent in performing a U-turn while attempting to effectuate a traffic stop, which resulted in a collision between his patrol car and Edwards’s vehicle.

Scarber, et al v Issa, et al (COA – UNP 3/10/2022; RB #4395)
In this unanimous, unpublished, per curiam decision, the Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court’s summary disposition order dismissing Plaintiff Nahsuante Scarber’s third-party auto negligence action against Defendants Delvester Issa and Philip Accettura. The Court of Appeals held that Scarber did not present sufficient evidence to create a question of fact as whether her injuries were causally connected to the subject motor vehicle collision. The Court further held also that close-up photographs of Scarber’s post-collision surgical scars were insufficient to demonstrate a permanent serious disfigurement.

Mentel v Emergent Health Partners, Inc, et al (COA – UNP 3/10/2022; RB #4394)
In this unanimous, unpublished, per curiam decision, the Court of Appeals reversed the trial court’s summary disposition order dismissing Plaintiff April Mentel’s third-party auto negligence action against Defendant Matthew Leonard Voggenritter. The Court of Appeals held that Voggenritter, a paramedic who crashed an ambulance into Mentel’s vehicle while responding to an emergency call, was not immune from liability under the emergency medical services act (EMSA), MCL 333.20901 et seq.

Schemahorn, et al v City of Niles, et al (COA – UNP 3/10/2022; RB #4393)
In this unanimous, unpublished, per curiam decision, the Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court’s summary disposition order dismissing Plaintiff Sharyn Schemahorn’s third-party auto negligence action against Defendants City of Niles, Police Officer Vincent Horton, and Police Officer Jenny Evans. The Court of Appeals held that Horton and Evans were not negligent in their pursuit of a fleeing suspect, who crashed into Schemahorn’s vehicle while attempting to evade police.

Johnson v Liberty Mut Gen Ins Co, et al (COA – UNP 3/10/2022; RB #4392)
In this unanimous, unpublished, per curiam decision (Boonstra, concurring), the Court of Appeals reversed the trial court’s summary disposition order dismissing Plaintiff Jonathan Johnson’s third-party auto negligence action against Defendant Michael Aquilina. The Court of Appeals held that a question of fact existed as to whether Aquilina suffered a sudden emergency in the form of a first-time seizure immediately before rear-ending Johnson’s vehicle. The Court further held that even if Aquilina had suffered a first-time seizure immediately before the crash, summary disposition would not have been proper based on that fact alone, as the sudden emergency doctrine is not an affirmative defense. Next, the Court of Appeals held that a question of fact existed as to whether Johnson satisfied the first and third prongs of the test for serious impairment of body function set forth in McCormick v Carrier, 487 Mich 180 (2010).

Kennard v Liberty Mut Ins (COA – PUB 3/3/2022; RB #4391)   
In this unanimous, published decision authored by Judge Cameron, the Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court’s summary disposition order dismissing Doris Kennard’s first-party action against Liberty Mutual Insurance Company (“Liberty Mutual”).  The Court of Appeals held that MCL 500.3012 did not operate to convert Kennard’s Maryland automobile insurance policy into a Michigan no-fault insurance policy, after Kennard informed Liberty Mutual, in the middle of the policy term, that she was moving to Michigan.

Yee v AAA Ins (COA – UNP 2/24/2022; RB #4390)
In this unanimous, unpublished, per curiam decision, the Court of Appeals reversed the trial court’s denial of Defendant AAA Insurance’s (“AAA”) motion for summary disposition, in which it sought dismissal of Plaintiff Li Yun Yee’s underinsured motorist claim against it. The Court of Appeals held that under the plain language of Yee’s automobile insurance policy, she was excluded from pursuing a claim for underinsured motorist benefits after she was injured in a motor vehicle collision, while traveling as a passenger in a motor vehicle owned by her husband.

Mull v Citizens Ins Co of the Midwest (COA – UNP 2/17/2022; RB #4388)
In this unanimous, unpublished, per curiam decision, the Court of Appeals reversed the trial court’s denial of Defendant Citizens Insurance Company of the Midwest’s (“Citizens”) motion for summary disposition, seeking dismissal of Plaintiff Joseph Mull’s first-party action against it. The Court of Appeals held that Mull’s taking of the motorcycle he was operating when he crashed into a motor vehicle was unlawful for purposes of MCL 500.3113(a). In so holding, the Court relied on Mull’s testimony that he “wasn’t supposed to take the motorcycle” and did not ask the motorcycle’s owner before doing so “because he knew she would say no.”

Estate of Lawrence v Schauf, et al (COA – UNP 2/10/2022; RB #4387) 
In this unanimous, unpublished, per curiam decision, the Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court’s summary disposition order dismissing Plaintiff Estate of Krystal Gayle Lawrence’s (“the Estate”) first- and third-party action against Defendants Sarah Elizabeth Schauf, Austin Patrick Martin, Progressive Marathon Insurance Company (“Progressive”), and Fremont Insurance Company (“Fremont”). With respect to the Estate’s third-party claims against Defendants Shauf and Martin, the Court of Appeals held that the trial court did not err in ruling, as a matter of law, that Krystal Gayle was more than 50% at-fault for the subject pedestrian-versus-motor vehicle collision, and therefore barred from recovery by MCLs 600.2955a and MCL 500.3135. With respect to the Estate’s first-party claim against Progressive and Fremont seeking survivor’s loss benefits for Krystal Lawrence’s surviving daughter, JL, the Court of Appeals held that JL was not domiciled with Lawrence at the time of the collision and that Lawrence failed to present any evidence that JL was “regularly” receiving support from Lawrence at the time of the collision.

Ramirez v Home-Owners Ins Co, et al (COA – UNP 2/10/2022; RB #4386)
In this unanimous, unpublished, per curiam decision, the Court of Appeals vacated the trial court’s order granting Plaintiff Emil Ramirez’s motion for no-fault attorney fees, following a jury trial in which Ramirez was awarded $55,279.79 in overdue no-fault PIP benefits. The Court of Appeals held, first, that the trial court did not err in ruling that Defendant Home-Owners Insurance Company’s denial of Ramirez’s claims for no-fault PIP benefits was unreasonable for purposes of MCL 500.3148. The Court of Appeals held, second, that Ramirez was not barred by MCR 2.405 from collecting attorney fees—despite the fact that he failed to respond to Defendant’s offer of judgment in the amount of $35,000, filed more than 42 days before trial—because MCL 600.2405(6) provides that attorney fees “ ‘may be taxed and awarded as costs’ when ‘authorized by statute or by court rule.’ ” Thus, even though Ramirez was not entitled to costs and fees under MCR 2.405, the Court could still award attorney fees under MCL 500.3148. Despite these holdings, however, the Court of Appeals vacated the trial court’s order, because the trial court failed to consider all the requisite factors for calculating a reasonable attorney fee before granting Ramirez’s motion. Therefore, the Court of Appeals remanded back to the trial court for consideration of those factors.

Micheli v Mich Auto Ins Placement Facility, et al (COA – PUB 2/10/2022; RB #4385)
In this unanimous, published, per curiam decision (Gleicher, concurring), the Court of Appeals vacated the trial court’s order denying Plaintiff Kathleen Micheli’s subpoena of Defendant Citizens Insurance Company’s (“Citizens”) insurance medical examiner, in Micheli’s first-party action against Citizens. The Court of Appeals held, first, that Micheli did not need to seek leave of the trial court before serving Citizens’ insurance medical examiner (a nonparty) with a subpoena, seeking to discover information, financial and otherwise, related to the examiner’s performance of insurance medical examinations (IMEs). The Court of Appeals held, second, that such information is not beyond the permissible scope of discovery. The Court of Appeals held, third, that the trial court failed to analyze whether Micheli’s subpoena was “unreasonable and oppressive” under MCR 2.305(A)(4)(a), and therefore remanded to the trial court for consideration of that issue.

Jawad Al Shah, MD, PC v Liberty Mut Ins Co (COA – UNP 1/27/2022; RB #4384)
In this unanimous, unpublished, per curiam decision, the Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court’s summary disposition order dismissing Plaintiff Jawad Al Shah, MD, PC’s (“Insight”) first-party action against Defendant Liberty Mutual Insurance Company (“Liberty Mutual”). The Court of Appeals held, first, that Ronald Stamps, Insight’s patient/Liberty Mutual’s insured, coordinated his Liberty Mutual no-fault policy with his Health Alliance Plan (“HAP”) health insurance, such that HAP was primarily responsible for his collision-related medical treatment. The Court of Appeals held, second, that because Insight failed to present any evidence in support of its contention that it was entitled to balance bill Liberty Mutual after HAP paid for Stamps’s treatment at a discounted rate, summary disposition was properly granted in Liberty Mutual’s favor.

Ravenell, et al v Auto Club Ins Assoc (COA – UNP 1/27/2022; RB #4383)
In this unanimous, unpublished, per curiam decision, the Court of Appeals, on remand from the Supreme Court, affirmed the trial court’s summary disposition order in favor of Plaintiff NGM Insurance Company (“NGM”), in NGM’s equitable subrogation action against Defendant Auto Club Insurance Association (“ACIA”). In its earlier opinion, the Court of Appeals held that NGM acted as a “mere volunteer” when it mistakenly paid PIP benefits to Oliver Ravenell based on its initial belief that it was the highest priority insurer, and that its claim against ACIA for equitable subrogation failed as a result. The Supreme Court vacated the Court of Appeals’ opinion and remanded the case back to the Court of Appeals for reconsideration of its holding in light of Esurance Prop & Cas Ins Co v Mich Assigned Claims Plan, ___ Mich ___ (2021). The Court of Appeals applied Esurance on remand and held that NGM was not acting as a “mere volunteer” when it mistakenly paid Ravenell’s benefits, and that NGM was, therefore, entitled to reimbursement from ACIA.

Precise MRI of Mich, LLC v State Auto Ins Co (COA – PUB 1/27/2022; RB #4382)
In this unanimous, published, per curiam decision, the Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court’s denial of Defendant State Auto Insurance Company’s (“State Auto”) motion for summary disposition, in which State Auto sought dismissal of Plaintiff Precise MRI of Michigan, LLC’s (“Precise”) first-party action against it. The Court of Appeals held that MRIs of State Auto’s insured’s spine and sacroiliac joints were compensable under the no-fault act, even though they were prescribed by a chiropractor.

Mobile MRI Staffing LLC v Meemic Ins Co (COA – UNP 1/20/2022; RB #4389)
In this unanimous, unpublished, per curiam decision, the Court of Appeals reversed the trial court’s denial of Defendant Meemic Insurance Company’s (“Meemic”) motion for summary disposition, in which Meemic sought dismissal of Plaintiff Mobile MRI Staffing LLC’s (“Metro”) first-party action against it. The Court of Appeals held that the 2019 amendments to the no-fault act—and to MCL 500.3145, specifically—do not apply retroactively. Metro’s first-party action, therefore, in which it sought payment of charges more than one-year old, but within one year of receiving a formal denial of its claim from Meemic, was barred by the pre-amendment version of the one-year-back rule.

Rodgers v Champs Auto Sales, Inc (COA – UNP 1/20/2022; RB #4381)
In this unanimous, unpublished, per curiam decision, the Court of Appeals reversed the trial court’s summary disposition order dismissing Plaintiff Tyrone Rodgers’s third-party action against Defendant Champs Auto Sales, Inc. (“Champs”). The Court of Appeals held that a question of fact existed as to whether Champs was an owner of the vehicle that struck Rodgers as he crossed the street as a pedestrian.


Lansing car accident lawyer Stephen Sinas is the lead editor of the appellate case summaries published on this site regarding the Michigan auto insurance law. To learn more about how Stephen Sinas and how the Sinas Dramis Law Firm can help you if you have been injured in a Michigan auto accident, visit SinasDramis.com.

Copyright © 2022 Sinas Dramis Law Firm, George Sinas, Stephen Sinas.
All Rights Reserved.
Login (Publishers Only)

FacebookTwitterInstagram