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Mobley v. USAA Casualty Ins. Co. (COA – UNP 3/3/2020; RB #4046)


Michigan Court of Appeals; Docket # 345360; Unpublished
Judges Redford, Cavanagh, and Servitto; Per curiam
Official Michigan Reporter Citation: Not Applicable; Link to Opinion

Determination of Domicile [§3114(1)]

Interpretation of Insurance Contracts

In this unanimous unpublished per curiam decision, the Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court’s summary disposition order dismissing the plaintiff’s first-party action to recover no-fault PIP benefits.  The Court of Appeals determined that the trial court did not err in determining that the plaintiff, Nancy Mobley, (1) was not domiciled with her son, the defendant’s insured, at the time of the subject motor vehicle collision, and (2) that she was not covered under her son’s policy despite her son listing her as an “additional operator.”

Mobley moved in with her son, David Aldridge, in August 2016 after an argument with her husband.  She bought all the personal items for her son’s home and gave her son money to help pay his bills for the period was staying there.  On September 3, 2016, Aldridge added Mobley to his insurance policy with USAA Casualty Insurance Company as an “additional operator,” and on September 16, 2016, Mobley was injured in a car crash while driving a vehicle owned by a family friend.  Approximately one month later, Mobley moved back in with her husband.

Ultimately, Mobley sought no-fault PIP benefits from USAA under Aldridge’s policy, but USAA refused to pay, arguing that Mobley was neither a “named insured” under the policy, nor did she reside primarily with Aldridge at the time of the collision.  In Mobley’s subsequent first-party action against USAA, the trial court granted summary disposition in USAA’s favor.

On appeal, Mobley argued that the trial court erred in determining that she was not domiciled with Aldridge at the time of the collision and that, as an “additional operator,” she was not covered under the policy.  The Court of Appeals disagreed, relying on the factors laid out in Grange Ins. Co. v. Lawrence, 494 Mich. 475 (2013) in affirming the trial court’s determination that Mobley was not, in fact, living with her son at the time of the collision for purposes of MCL 500.3114(1). 

The record establishes that plaintiff had resided at 7276 Lozier Avenue, in Warren, Michigan, for the past 18 years. Whenever plaintiff and her husband had a disagreement, plaintiff would take all of her personal belongings and stay at Aldridge’s home for a period of time. However, after plaintiff and her husband would resolve their disagreement, plaintiff would return to her marital home. On the date of the accident, plaintiff was residing with Aldridge but did not intend to divorce her husband. She was simply allowing for some time for them to be apart. Plaintiff moved back in with her husband a month after the accident. Since moving back in with her husband after the accident, plaintiff again stayed with Aldridge for a period of time, and now currently resides with her husband. Based on the record, it appears that Aldridge’s home is plaintiff’s temporary safe haven, but she always intends to return to her marital home. Thus, although plaintiff was residing with Aldridge at the time of the accident, the record does not support the conclusion that she resided primarily at that residence.

The Court of Appeals further affirmed the trial court’s determination that Mobley was unambiguously not covered under the policy, and held that she was neither covered under the “additional covered person endorsement.”

Michigan auto accident attorney 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

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