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Legal Updates


14
Oct

Michigan Court of Appeals Foregoes Special Panel to Resolve Bazzi “Innocent Third-Party” Conflict

Bazzi Innocent Third Party Rule
A recent order from the Michigan Court of Appeals declares that, for now, insurers are entitled to rescind no-fault policies where there is fraud in the insurance application and trial courts may grant summary disposition of third-party claims if no genuine issue of material fact exists regarding a [...]
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23
Jun

Recent Opinion Confirms Right to Rescind No-Fault Policies Acquired through Fraud

zausmer august caldwell
In Bazzi v Sentinel Ins Co, a published decision, the Michigan Court of Appeals recently confirmed that the so-called “innocent third-party” rule did not survive the Michigan Supreme Court’s decision in Titan Ins Co v Hyten, which held that insurers can rescind policies due to fraud in the ins[...]
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17
Jun

Michigan Supreme Court Addresses Issues of Bad Faith Relative to Jurisdictional Thresholds

Bad Faith Lawsuit
In a unanimous ruling, the Michigan Supreme Court recently held in Hodge v. State Farm that absent evidence of bad faith, the jurisdiction of a state district court is based on the allegations raised in the pleadings, not evidence developed in pre-trial discovery proceedings or at trial. In Michi[...]
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10
May

Employers, Does Your Employee Handbook Violate the National Labor Relations Act?

Employee handbook
A recent National Labor Relations Board decision appears to dramatically expand the interpretation and application of certain provisions of the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”) to handbook provisions and actions taken by non-union employers – with significant potential consequences for em[...]
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14
Apr

Michigan Court of Appeals Clarifies “Open and Obvious” Defense in Premises Liability Cases

Open and Obvious Danger
Two recent unpublished opinions from the Michigan Court of Appeals provide further clarification for premises liability cases as to what risks might be considered “open and obvious” and when those risks might contain a special aspect. In Shammout v. Kalamazoo Jaycee, et al., the court held th[...]
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12
Apr

Timing of Insurer’s Payment of No-Fault Benefits Critical to Statute of Limitations Exception

Bazzi Innocent Third Party Rule
Michigan law requires a person injured in an automobile accident to file an action for no-fault benefits within one year of the incident, but makes an exception if the insurer has paid benefits for the injury at any time before the action is commenced. According to a recent Michigan Supreme Court op[...]
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12
Nov

Failure of Insured to Attend Medical Exam Doesn’t Relieve Insurer from Having to Pay Benefits

Michigan Independent Medical Exam
In a recent published opinion, the Michigan Court of Appeals held that although an insurer can suspend benefits when an insured fails to attend a scheduled Independent Medical Examination or Examination Under Oath, a suspension of benefits is not dispositive proof that benefits are not owed. In c[...]
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29
Oct

When a No-Fault Release Fails to Protect an Insurer from a Medical Provider’s Claims

Release of Medical Provider Claims
In a recently published opinion, the Michigan Court of Appeals held that a release signed by an insured did not discharge a no-fault insurer’s liability where the insurer has received separate claims from a medical provider. In Covenant Medical Center v State Farm, State Farm’s insured (who w[...]
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21
Oct

Who “Owns” a Vehicle Under Michigan Insurance Laws?

Vehicle Owner Insurance
In a case that could have a far-reaching impact on uninsured motorist coverage, Michigan’s highest court is considering who qualifies as a vehicle’s “owner” under Michigan law. The Court has directed the parties in Harrell v. Titan Indemnity Company to submit supplemental briefing on whether[...]
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3
Sep

Motor Vehicle Exception to Governmental Immunity

zausmer august caldwell
If a motorist is injured when a truck fails to obey traffic laws and causes an accident, the liability of the truck owner for the plaintiff’s damages seems clear. But what happens when the truck is part of a fleet owned and operated by the State of Michigan or a Michigan municipality? Does governm[...]
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