Matthew Sunderlin

Mr. Sunderlin obtained his Undergraduate Degree from the James Madison Honors College at Michigan State University in 2011 and his Juris Doctorate from Wayne State University in 2014.

He is admitted to the State Bar of Michigan and the Federal Courts for the Eastern & Western Districts of Michigan. He handles personal injury defense, collections and commercial litigation. He is a member of The Association of Defense Trial Counsel.

In his spare time he is a Student Mentor for the Great Lakes Invitational Conference Association (Model United Nations) and an avid kayaker.

Admitted to Practice

State Bar of Michigan
U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Michigan
U.S. District Court, Western District of Michigan

Professional Affiliations

State Bar of Michigan
The Association of Defense Trial Counsel
Great Lakes Invitational Conference Association
Student Mentor

Matthew Sunderlin

Matthew Sunderlin
Rated by Super Lawyers

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Recent News

PIP Opt-Out Upheld

Our insurer client issued a policy of Michigan No-Fault insurance with a full opt-out from medical benefits to its insured, a Medicare recipient, who applied for the policy online and filled out all policy application materials personally. Plaintiff, who alleged entitlement to Michigan No-Fault benefits as a resident relative of the insured, had never been disclosed to the insurer prior to the commencement of litigation.

Plaintiff argued that the insured did not understand the insurance policy application documents, and further claimed that Plaintiff’s existence had been disclosed to the insurer via a telephone conversation prior to the insured filling out the insurance policy application. We filed a Motion for Summary Disposition arguing that Plaintiff, a non-party to the insurance contract, did not have standing to contest its validity. Moreover, longstanding Michigan jurisprudence holds that knowledge of the policy’s terms, conditions, and coverages is imputed to the insured, so neither the insured nor Plaintiff could plead ignorance in order to alter the available coverage. Finally, the only evidence of any communication between the insurer and the insured was the policy application materials, which the insured filled out personally and indicated only one household resident – the insured – with no mention of Plaintiff.

We asserted that the opt-out from medical benefits was validly issued because the insurer is entitled to rely on the insured’s statements as made in the policy application materials, and had no duty to conduct any independent investigation into their truth or falsehood. The Court agreed with us and upheld the medical opt-out in the insurer’s No-Fault Policy, dismissing Plaintiff’s medical claims against our client in their entirety.

Provider Claim Dismissed as Untimely

Our insurer client was served with a lawsuit by a medical provider seeking payment of No-Fault benefits. The provider’s lawsuit against our client was filed fully two years after the date of the alleged motor vehicle accident. The provider’s lawsuit was the first notice to the insurer of any claim by that entity.

The medical provider argued that tolling under MCL 500.3145 was applicable due to the lack of any formal denial of the claim by the insurer, and that the one-year limitations period should not apply to the medical provider’s claim regardless because the medical provider acted with reasonable diligence to try and identify the correct insurer from which to claim benefits. In our Motion for Summary Disposition, we argued that the tolling provisions of MCL 500.3145 only apply to a claim if notice is given to the insurer or payment is made by the insurer within one year of the accident. Lacking notice or payment, tolling could not apply. Further, a medical provider’s supposed reasonable diligence in attempting to identify the correct insurer does not provide an exception to the one-year limitations period, absent impropriety by the insurer – which did not occur here.

The Court agreed with us that no tolling or other possible exception to the one-year limitations period in MCL 500.3145 applied to this claim. Accordingly, the Court dismissed the medical provider’s claims against our client in their entirety.

Court of Appeals Victory

Plaintiff negotiated a pre-suit settlement with our clients’ insurer, but then filed suit anyway, alleging that she never agreed to any settlement. We elicited key testimony allowing us to prevail at the Circuit Court on the grounds that the pre-suit settlement constituted a valid accord and satisfaction, barring further litigation of the claim. Plaintiff appealed, arguing that there was no “meeting of the minds” and that the pre-suit settlement was fraudulently induced.

The Court of Appeals agreed with our arguments and affirmed the Circuit Court’s dismissal. Under Michigan’s Uniform Commercial Code and the jurisprudence interpreting it, “meeting of the minds” is unnecessary – a payment discharges a claim so long as it is accompanied by a conspicuous written statement to the effect that it is tendered in full satisfaction of the claim. Further, there could be no finding of fraud because Plaintiff was provided with full information as to what the payment was for and elected to deposit and retain the funds anyway. As such, Plaintiff’s claims were validly discharged by the pre-suit settlement and the lawsuit against our clients was barred and dismissed with prejudice.

Super Lawyer Rising Star Awarded

RCR proudly announces that Matt Sunderlin was selected as Super Lawyers Rising Stars.

Another Dismissal

Matt Sunderlin obtained summary dismissal of a Plaintiff’s negligence claims. The Court found that the Plaintiff did not sustain any “threshold” injury in the alleged accident and dismissed the Plaintiff’s claims against the driver and the owner of the alleged at-fault vehicle with prejudice.

Replacement Services Claim Tossed

Matt Sunderlin obtained summary dismissal of a Plaintiff’s replacement services claim. The Judge agreed that Plaintiff’s claims were not actually incurred pursuant to the Michigan No-Fault Act.

Dismissal of $216,000 in Bills

Matt Sunderlin obtained dismissal of Plaintiff’s $216,000 PIP claim. The Judge agreed that the Plaintiff’s bills were excluded by Michigan law.

Dismissal with Prejudice

Matt Sunderlin achieved a dismissal of a negligence case via Summary Disposition. Matt’s motion was granted based on the Plaintiff’s lack of serious impairment of body function.

Dismissal of Aggravated Injury Claims

Plaintiff‘s attempt to blame a recent work injury on the subject accident was not successful. Plaintiff fell at work and blamed the fall on instability caused by the auto accident. Matt Sunderlin convinced the court to exclude those claims from the case, reducing the potential exposure significantly.

Commercial Trucking Suit Dismissed

A commercial trucking case with catastrophic injuries and brain injury producing severe mental incapacity was dismissed with prejudice. Matt Sunderlin successfully argued that the policy did not cover the alleged accident.

No Insurable Interest

Matt Sunderlin obtained Summary Disposition via motion. The Judge agreed that there existed no insurable interest. The motion was granted and dismissed with prejudice.