The Michigan Supreme Court issued a grant order in a case in which it will address whether an immediate family member who knows that he or she has been forbidden to drive a vehicle may nevertheless be a permissive user of the vehicle eligible for personal insurance protection (“PIP”) benefits under MCL 500.3113(a), when, contrary to the owner’s prohibition, an intermediate permissive user grants the PIP claimant permission to operate the accident vehicle. Read the Court’s Order here: Spectrum Health Hospitals v. Farm Bureau Mutual Ins Co of Michigan et al.
This is somewhat related to the case that was the subject of my previous post (Progressive v. DeYoung et al.) in that it relates to judicial interpretations or “modifications” of the explicit Legislative prohibition in MCL 500.3113(a) that non-permitted users should not be able to recover PIP benefits. However, the language of the statute itself gives rise to the issue, present in this case, of whether and to what extent a person took the vehicle unlawfully and / or whether that person nonetheless reasonably believes that he or she is entitled to take and use the vehicle.
The Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court’s award to the plaintiff / claimant, even though he was intoxicated and unlicensed and was prohibited from driving the vehicle. The claimant’s father gave the claimant’s girlfriend permission to drive the vehicle, and then she allowed the claimant to drive the vehicle. The Court of Appeals opinion is attached here: Spectrum Health Hosp v. Farm Burea (COA Opinion)
Published by Carson J Tucker, JD MSEL
Owner of law firm since July 2014; Handles all types of appellate matters and assists other lawyers with complex litigation and insurance coverage issues; Admitted to the Supreme Court of the United States, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals and the State Bar of Michigan; Expertise in prosecuting and defending appeals with several significant successes in the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, the Michigan Supreme Court and the Michigan Court of Appeals; Author of briefs amicus curiae in the Michigan Supreme Court for the Michigan Defense Trial Counsel and the Insurance Institute of Michigan; Represents Insurance Companies, Major International Business, Governmental Entities, Law Enforcement Officers and County Sheriffs.
Board of Directors, Michigan Defense Trial Counsel
Amicus Committee Co-Chair, Michigan Defense Trial Counsel
Military - Retired Major in the Judge Advocate General (JAG) Corps of the United States Army, Brigade Judge Advocate and Staff JAG officer for the Maneuver Training Center, Camp Grayling, Michigan; Recipient of the Army's Meritorious Service Medal (the highest medal of honor available to Soldiers serving in non-combat roles); 2012 Graduate of the Judge Advocate Officer Advanced Course, at The Judge Advocate Legal Center and School, Charlottesville, Virginia.
United States Navy Reserves, Combat Warfare Qualification, January 1989 to July 2003
Former law clerk to Justice Stephen J. Markman, Michigan Supreme Court, Research Attorney, Michigan Court of Appeals. Insurance Coverage Associate Plunkett Cooney; Environmental Law Attorney at Squire Sanders, now Squire Patton Boggs; Master's Degree in Environmental Law; Environmental Law Scholar, ALI/ABA Washington, D.C., Juris Doctorate, Vermont Law School, Environmental Editor, Vermont Law Review; Treasurer and Finalist, Moot Court Advisory Board.
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