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W A Foote Mem Hosp v Mich Assigned Claims Plan (COA – UNP 1/29/2019; RB #3840)

 Michigan Court of Appeals; Docket # 340419; Unpublished
Judges Cameron, Beckering, Ronayne Krause; per Curiam
Official Michigan Reporter Citation: Not Applicable; Link to Opinion

Not applicable

Medical Provider Standing (Post-Covenant)

In this unanimous unpublished per curiam opinion, the Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court’s grant of summary disposition for Defendant Michigan Assigned Claims Plan (“MACP”) regarding the retroactivity of Covenant Med Ctr, Inc v State Farm Mut Ins Co, 500 Mich 191, 196; 895 NW2d 490 (2017). The Court found that under its prior holding in W A Foote Mem Hosp v Mich Assigned Claims Plan, 321 Mich App 159, 168; 909 NW2d 38 (2017), Covenant applied retroactively to cases pending on appeal.

Plaintiff W.A. Foote Memorial Hospital (“Foote”) sought to bring a claim on behalf of an uninsured person it provided care for. Foote sought first-party PIP benefits for those services. While, the case was pending the Michigan Supreme Court decided Covenant, which abolished medical provider’s independent statutory cause of action against no-fault insurance companies. Further, the Michigan Court of Appeals decided W A Foote, shortly after Covenant and decided that Covenant applied to cases pending on direct appeal.

The Court of Appeals found that Covenant applied retroactively, and it barred Foote’s claim. The Court found that under its prior holding in W A Foote, Covenant applied to cases pending on appeal. Because this case was pending on appeal when Covenant was decided, Covenant applied to Foote’s case. Covenant therefore abolished Foote’s statutory independent right to bring a cause of action on behalf of a patient and Foote’s claim was barred.

"The issue presented on appeal in this case—whether Covenant should be applied retroactively to those cases pending on direct appeal at the time it was decided—is not factually distinguishable from our recent decision in W A Foote Mem Hosp. That case turned on the fact that the healthcare provider had filed a direct action against defendants that was pending when Covenant was decided. The same is true in this case. As a result, we conclude that Covenant applies retroactively, following the precedent set forth in W A Foote Mem Hosp, as we are bound to do. See Shah v State Farm Mut Auto Ins Co, 324 Mich App 182, 195-196; 920 NW2d 148 (2018); Bronson Healthcare Group, Inc v Mich Assigned Claims Plan, 323 Mich App 302, 305-306; 917 NW2d 682 (2018); VHS Huron Valley Sinai Hosp (On Remand), 322 Mich App at 713-715. Accordingly, the trial court did not err when it granted summary disposition in favor of defendants."

Thus, the Court of Appeals upheld the trial court’s grant of summary disposition.

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