RCR 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.

Permissive Use SD Victory

Max McHugh successfully argued for the dismissal of Plaintiff’s owner’s liability claim asserting that Co-Defendant was not a permissive user of the vehicle involved in the subject motor vehicle accident and that the use of the vehicle occurred without Defendant’s knowledge or consent. The Court dismissed Plaintiff’s claims with prejudice.

Over $600K+ Saved for Insurance Carrier

Yosef Klein obtained summary disposition on behalf of an insurance company facing claims for PIP, UM, and third-party liability insurance coverage in connection with a car accident because the insurance policy was purchased with fraudulent misrepresentations in the application. The total claimed by Plaintiff exceeded $600,000!

No Threshold Injury

Jason Rudy successfully argued for the dismissal of Plaintiff’s negligence claim asserting that Plaintiff did not sustain a “threshold” injury in the subject accident. The Court agreed and dismissed Plaintiff’s case with prejudice.

No-Fault PIP Dismissal

Jason Rudy obtained summary judgment in a No-fault PIP case filed by Plaintiff and multiple medical providers. Attorney Rudy was able to prove that Defendant was not in the order of priority. The Court dismissed the case against Defendant.

Summary Disposition Upheld on Appeal

The claim arose out of a fire in a commercial property. Summary disposition was obtained by Mr. Klein for the insurer and upheld on appeal granting rescission after insured failed to report loss prior to issuance of retroactive renewal policy.

Trial Victory

Doug Campbell recently won a worker’s compensation trial in which Plaintiff’s claims for injuries to the shoulder, back, knees, and psychological disability were denied. The Magistrate further found that Plaintiff had a retained wage earning capacity and did not meet the threshold for “good faith effort” to look for employment. The Plaintiff’s weekly benefit rate for an alleged ankle injury was significantly reduced. Mr. Campbell relied upon zealous cross examination of Plaintiff’s medical and vocational experts and strong surveillance video and testimony in achieving the victory.

No Cause - Arbitration

Attorney Jason Rudy successfully obtain a No Cause Verdict at arbitration. Mr. Rudy vigorously defended the negligence claim and was able to prove that his client’s actions were not a proximate cause of Plaintiff’s injuries resulting in a No Cause Verdict.

Appellate Victory on Permissive Use Defense

Our client was sued for ownership liability. We filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit because our client’s car had been taken without permission. After the trial court denied the motion, Mr. Klein filed an application for leave to appeal. The Court of Appeals reversed the trial court and ordered that summary disposition be entered in favor of our client.

SD Victory Claimed

RCR won summary disposition in favor of a UIM insurer when the liability insurer’s aggregate payments, including to claimants not insured under the UIM policy, equaled the aggregate UIM limit.

Another SD Victory

Yosef Klein obtained summary judgment on behalf of an insurer, and a ruling of no defense or indemnity owed, against a medical facility who delayed reporting a medical malpractice wrongful-death claim.

Board of Directors

Tom Roeder was recently appointed to the Board of Directors for the Association of Defense Trial Counsel (ADTC). Tom is honored to join the board and hopes to help the ADTC continue its tradition as a respected and trusted institution.

RCR Welcomes Nathan Thomas

Rich, Campbell & Roeder is pleased to announce the hiring of attorney Nathan Thomas. He is an experienced trial attorney that will be a valuable asset to RCR’s litigation department. We are excited to have Nate join the team.

Super Lawyer Awarded

RCR is pleased to announce that Ken Rich has been recognized as a Super Lawyer – Personal Injury Defense, a designation that is awarded only to a select number of accomplished attorneys in each state.

Another Victory via Summary Disposition

Attorney Nathan Thomas obtained summary judgment on behalf of an insurer and against a medical facility who tried to recoup claimed expenses that were over two years old. Mr. Thomas successfully argued that the bills were contemplated in a prior settlement and the facility could not bill the insurer. The Court agreed, and dismissed the facility’s lawsuit.

Another SD Victory

Summary disposition was obtained by Yosef’s team for an insurer and upheld on appeal based on a policy exclusion. The claim arose out of the death of a subcontractor’s employee.

Reversal on Appeal in Favor of Insurer

Yosef obtained reversal of the circuit court’s ruling in favor of insured. The Court held that the policy’s “temporary occupancy” provision applied and that the insurer owed only the relevant sublimit.

New Partner

RCR is excited to congratulate Jason Rudy on being named an equity partner. The new role is well deserved as Jason has been an excellent attorney and remains an aggressive advocate for his clients.

RCR Welcomes Max McHugh

RCR is excited to welcome associate attorney Max McHugh. He graduated from Wayne State Law School and is a welcome addition to our growing practice. Max has experience both in court and with comprehensive pre-litigation strategy.

Negligence Dismissal

Jason Rudy was able to elicit key testimony from all of the parties and witnesses in order to prove that our client did not cause or contribute to the accident. The Court granted his Motion for Summary Disposition on negligence and the case was dismissed with prejudice.

SD Upheld on Appeal

Summary judgment was obtained by RCR for an insurer and upheld on appeal based on the total pollutant exclusion.

Exclusion Upheld

Summary disposition was obtained for insurer based on general liability policy’s auto exclusion, notwithstanding alternative legal theories asserted by claimant.

$1 Million Exposure Avoided

A million-dollar policy was rescinded based on a policy exclusion. Yosef Klein obtained dismissal with prejudice.

No Cause Verdict-PIP

Ken Rich obtained a $0 verdict in a PIP jury trial. The Plaintiff was seeking over $200,000 in PIP damages and alleged a closed head injury.

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.

Super Lawyer Awarded

RCR is pleased to announce that Yosef Klein has been recognized as a Super Lawyer – Rising Star, a designation awarded to only 2.5% of Michigan lawyers.

Coverage Victory

Yosef Klein achieved summary disposition via policy rescission. A backdated policy that had been issued after an unintentional lapse in coverage was rescinded.

No Cause Verdict-Negligence

Ken Rich and Tom Roeder secured a no cause verdict in a jury trial in connection with a negligence lawsuit brought by two Plaintiffs. The jury agreed that the Defendant caused the accident, but found that the Plaintiffs did not sustain serious impairments.

Material Misrepresentation Dismissal

Yosef Klein sought and achieved summary disposition of a PIP case. The Judge granted policy rescission of the auto policy for material misrepresentation.

Summary Disposition Granted

Jason Rudy obtained summary disposition in a negligence case in favor of an RCR client. The Judge agreed that Plaintiff was over 51% at fault and granted the motion in our favor. The case was dismissed with prejudice.

Case Dismissed

Tom Roeder secured dismissal of Plaintiff’s entire PIP claim (totaling over $400,000) pursuant to Bahri v. IDS Property Casualty Insurance Company. Tom obtained testimony from the Plaintiff and her care provider proving that the alleged attendant care claims were fraudulent and convinced the Judge to dismiss the case entirely.

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.

Victory at the COA

Doug Campbell secured a victory in the Michigan Court of Appeals.  We successfully argued that the underlying claimant was in the “course and scope of his employment” when involved in a motor vehicle accident.  The Court reversed the trial court opinion that the claimant was “going to or coming from work” and therefore not covered by the Worker’s Compensation Act.

PIP Dismissal

Doug Campbell secured dismissal of a PIP case filed by out of state resident.  Under the newly amended version of MCL 500.3163, out-of-state insurers of out-of-state residents no longer have to provide Michigan No-Fault PIP benefits at all unless the out-of-state resident owns and insures a Michigan-registered vehicle.

Court of Appeals Victory

A coverage denial based on an exclusion was overruled by the trial court. Yosef and Ken won outright at the Appellate level. $400,000 in bills were dismissed.

Failure to Disclose

Ken Rich secured dismissal of a PIP claim due to Plaintiff’s failure to disclose his resident spouse on the application. Rescission of the policy was granted by the Judge and the case was dismissed with prejudice.