First Party (PIP)

Court/Case No: Macomb County Circuit Court/17-003458-NI

Tried/Argued Before: Judge

Demand: $175,000.00 +

Verdict: $0 – Motion for Summary Disposition granted

Name of Judge(s): Honorable Diane M. Druzinski

Keys to the Case:

Plaintiff was significantly injured when he was struck by a Dodge pickup truck while riding his bicycle. Plaintiff did not have insurance; therefore, he sought PIP benefits from the insurer of the pickup truck and his aunt’s insurance carrier.

During litigation, it was discovered that Plaintiff submitted a signed a no-fault application and an affidavit of no insurance to the insurer of the pickup truck stating that he lived with his mother at the time of the accident. Furthermore, Plaintiff admitted at his deposition that he did not live with his aunt and did not keep any belongings at her home. He did not rely on his aunt for financial support, nor did he ever intend to actually live with her. He only used his aunt’s address for mail. His aunt’s address was listed on medical records, bills, Social Security forms, and his license. Deposition testimony of Plaintiff’s mother, aunt, and brother all established that he never lived with his aunt and was living with his mother before the accident.

Both Plaintiff and the insurer of the pickup truck contested Plaintiff’s aunt’s insurance carrier’s Motion for Summary Disposition. They argued Plaintiff’s mailing address created a question of fact and that pre-litigation statements of Plaintiff and his mother contradicted their deposition testimony.

The Court ruled Plaintiff’s mailing address alone was not enough to establish residency. The Court also ruled that the recorded statement of mom lacked authentication and was not admissible evidence necessary to defeat the Motion. The Court also ruled that the non-recorded statement of Plaintiff was inadmissible hearsay because it was only a recitation of the adjuster’s summary of the non-recorded statement. The Court applied the Workman v DAIIE, 404 Mich 477 (1979) factors and held that Plaintiff was never a resident relative domiciled with his aunt, the named insured. Plaintiff’s aunt’s insurance carrier, represented by Cleveland Simmons of Secrest Wardle, was dismissed from the case with prejudice.

Defense SW attorney(s) Involved in Case: Cleveland B. Simmons

Result Date: 05/18/2018
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