Michigan Supreme Court Issues Clarifying Order Suspending Due Dates for Jurisdictional Appeals

Following up on its prior order and as I had indicated in my prior blog post (Michigan Supreme Court Suspends All Case Filing Deadlines), the Court has now issued a clarifying order “tolling” filing deadlines for jurisdictional appeals; the time for filing a Claim of Appeal and Application for Leave to Appeal in the Supreme Court are jurisdictional – the Court will not recognize the filing if it is not filed within the time limit due date as specified in the Michigan Court Rules. A “late appeal” may be filed in the Court of Appeals, but the appeal is no longer one of right, but rather may be heard at the discretion of the Court.

For Supreme Court applications – late applications are not accepted.

The new order, AO 2020-4, effectively tolls the period of filing during the period of the Governor’s declared state of emergency (including any extensions) and it gives filers the same number of days to file upon expiration of the period of emergency as they had to file when the period commenced on March 24. It seems this particular aspect of the order was designed to avoid a large filing influx on the day after expiration of the filing period, which makes sense as the Courts would be flooded with appeals and applications on a single day.

This is an effective solution. Michigan Supreme Court is really proactive and handling this crisis extremely well! Well done!

Michigan Supreme Court Suspends All Filing Deadlines for Case Initiation and Responsive Pleadings to Day After Period of Emergency Lockdown Ordered by Governor Whitmer

By  Administrative Order 2020-03  the Michigan Supreme Court has ordered that all filing deadlines for all case initiation and for filing of responsive pleadings in proceedings already initiated are suspended during the period of emergency enunciated in Governor Whitmer’s Executive Order 2020-21 (COVID-19) (March 24 at 12:01 a.m. through April 13, 2020 at 11:59 p.m.).

The “days” during this period which would otherwise constitute the regular business day that a case filing is due under the court rules are being treated like a weekend day or holiday as under MCR 1.108(1), which allows the extension of filing deadlines to the next business day during which the court is open after the weekend or holiday day. The duration of the emergency is essentially being treated like a single consecutive non-business day or holiday for purposes of calculating the time period filing requirements under the Court Rules and particularly the aforementioned MCR 1.108(1).

The Court’s order only applies to case initiation and responsive pleadings to such cases; not to the filing of a brief, for example, that is already due for a case that has already been initiated.

Lex Fori PLLC and Carson J Tucker File Pro Bono Supreme Court Application for Disabled Veteran

In March 2020, Attorney Carson J. Tucker of Lex Fori PLLC filed another pro bono Supreme Court application in Michigan seeking to ensure that federally protected veterans’ disability benefits are used for the purpose that Congress intended, i.e., to support and provide for disabled veterans whose service to the United States resulted in their injuries. Congress has passed laws pursuant to its enumerated Military Powers in the Constitution providing veterans with benefits since the beginning of the republic. The federal statutes also affirmatively shield certain veterans’ benefits from any state court process and jurisdictionally prohibit any legal process from being used to take these benefits.


Part of Mr. Tucker’s practice is focused on providing pro bono and low bono legal representation to servicemembers and veterans throughout the country and abroad. It makes up about 30 to 40 percent of his law practice at any given time. As an appellate law expert admitted to the United States Supreme Court and other state courts and federal courts, Mr. Tucker also provides amicus curiae (friend of the court) briefs to various entities and organizations to protect their interests in cases addressing legal issues of significant importance to those organizations.

Lex Fori PLLC and Carson J. Tucker Successfully Pursue Attorney Fees on Appeal After Judgment for Widow of Veteran

I’ve already posted about this recent victory, but wanted to highlight one for the more detailed aspects of this case that arose from our aggressive stance in litigation and on appeals and our creativity in exploring all remedies for our clients at all times.

Michigan, as in most states, the courts follow the “American rule” when it comes to recovery of attorney’s fees in litigation. This means that generally both parties pay their own attorney fees. The exception in Michigan and some other jurisdictions is where attorney fees are allowed by statute, court rule, or agreement by and between the parties (think of an arbitration or dispute resolution clause or just a regular contract requiring one or another party to pick up the attorney’s fees in the event of dispute or breach, etc.).

Generally, even if there is a rule or statute, a party must move for attorney fees before the final judgment. In this particular case, exercising a will to win and be creative, we utilized a court rule that allows a defending party in a child custody / domestic relations matter to recover attorney fees and successfully convinced the Court of Appeals to remand to the trial court to hold a hearing on our client’s request even though the request was made in a post-judgment motion.

Interestingly enough, this exercise was undertaken when we were retained about a week before the motions for reconsideration were due in the trial court to try and reverse the entire direction of the proceedings, which had theretofore all been against our client.

The most satisfying part of this particular case is that we did it for the widow of a United States Army veteran who had committed suicide while on active duty. Anyone who follows me knows about 30 to 40 percent of my practice is representing military veterans (usually pro bono and low bono). As a veteran myself Navy 1989 – 2003, and a former JAG officer with the United States Army (2003 – 2016), I am keenly aware of the challenges and issues faced by our nation’s warriors and their families! I fight these legal battles like they fight for us on the front line! No mercy.

Read the opinion here: Martin v Cleveland-Martin

Law Offices of Carson J. Tucker and Lex Fori, PLLC File Michigan Appeals Briefs Under Administrative Order 2019-6

We have been preparing, formatting and filing our briefs in the Court of Appeals and Supreme Court under Administrative Order 2019-6, which allows us to use all the readability and formatting tools of Adobe to create fully interactive and e-friendly briefs. As a former Supreme Court law clerk and an insurance coverage counsel, Mr. Tucker understands the convenience of having a fully interactive document with all file contents and citations referenced and linked for quick review.

The ideal briefs and appendices (which we strive to create) will contain fully interactive table of contents and bookmarks, links to cases, links to the direct location (page and line) in the Appendix and/or accompanying attachments and indices and tables of contents that are fully interactive – meaning the reader can toggle back and forth to the references and have immediate confirmation and documentary support for our arguments and factual assertions, respectively. We can also use a larger, eye-friendly font, which is critical for those who must read brief after brief, day in and day out!

Here’s one we filed in the Court of Appeals last month (January 2020) in a constitutional and property law case in the Michigan Court of Appeals. Mitchell.Brief.on.Appeal.01.17.2020

Law Offices of Carson J. Tucker Successfully Overturns Tax Assessment on Appeal

18-003916 Final Opinion and Judgment

Michigan Supreme Court Remands to Appellate Commission Directing Assessment of Post-Injury Retirement and Effect on Wage Loss

In a case I brought to the Michigan Supreme Court on application from a Court of Appeals denial and Michigan Compensation Appellate Commission decision, the Court agrees with my argument the Commission did not address whether the claimant’s wage loss was attributable to her work-related injury, or rather due to her acceptance of a retirement / severance package.

MCL 418.301(4) of the Workers Disability Compensation Act requires in order for an individual to be entitled to wage loss benefits, the disability occasioned by the work-related injury must be the true cause of the wage loss, not some other reason wholly (or even partially) unrelated to the work.

This stems from the underlying principles behind workers compensation “wage loss” benefits.  Employers are only responsible to the extent the employee is unable to earn wages due to the injury and not for other reasons beyond the employer’s control.  Thus, downturns in the economy, a worker’s choice to do something else for less pay, or to move to a geographical location with less opportunities, seasonal employment situations, etc., all are situations over which employers do not have control.  Therefore, employers are not responsible for the wage loss benefits for such circumstances.

This remand by the Michigan Supreme Court confirms that in those cases where the facts support the legal argument, it must be considered whether the employer is truly responsible for all, or even a portion of the claimed “wage loss”.

Read the Supreme Court’s order here:  Williamson v. GM

If anyone has questions regarding this decision, or the wage loss principle in general, please contact Carson J. Tucker, JD, MSEL at (734) 218-3605.

Employee’s Violation of Company Policy Regarding Computer Use to Access Flight Information for Airline Passenger Not “Disqualifying Willful / Wanton Misconduct” Sufficient to Deny Unemployment Benefits

In a published opinion issued on July 15, 2014, the Michigan Court of Appeals ruled that a security guard’s access of a computer to provide an airline passenger information about a flight’s departure did not meet the legal standard for “misconduct” sufficient to deny unemployment benefits after termination from employment.

The employee was a privately contracted security guard working at the Detroit Metropolitan Airport.  Her employer’s policy prohibited use of computers to access information about flights for passengers.  The employee knew of this policy.  She was approached by a passenger who asked for information about departure of a specific flight.  The employee accessed the computer and provided the information to the passenger.  She was terminated as a result of violating her employer’s policy regarding computer usage.

The employee filed a claim for unemployment benefits.  Her employer claimed that under MCL 421.29(1)(b), she was disqualified from receiving benefits because she had been “discharged for misconduct connected with the individual’s work” within the meaning of that provision.  The Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) agreed and ruled that the employee’s conduct met the statutory standard.  The Michigan Compensation Appellate Commission affirmed the ALJ’s decision.

On appeal to the Circuit Court, the decision denying  benefits was reversed.

The Circuit Court reasoned that the meaning of “misconduct” under MCL 421.29(1)(b) had been interpreted by the Michigan Supreme Court to require a showing of conduct exhibiting a willful and wanton disregard of an employer’s interests.  The Circuit Court also noted the Supreme Court had defined what did not constitute misconduct, conduct which included “ordinary negligence” and “good faith errors in judgment or discretion”.  The Circuit Court reasoned that the employee was attempting to help a passenger, and, by extension was doing something productive and beneficial for her employer.  Thus, the Circuit Court reasoned, even though the employee violated her employer’s computer usage policy, it was a good faith mistake rather than willful or wanton misconduct contrary to her employer’s interest.

On appeal, the employer argued that the Circuit Court had made a factual determination, to wit, that the conclusion that the employee’s behavior did not constitute “misconduct” was either a factual conclusion that the ALJ’s decision was not “supported by the record evidence”, a phrase invoking the standard of review of administrative agency findings of fact, or, in the least, a mixed question of law and fact.  Therefore, according to the employer, the Circuit Court’s review was limited to a determination that the ALJ’s decision was “not supported by competent, material, and substantial evidence” on the record.  Mich. Const. 1963, art. 6, sec. 28.

The employee countered that the Circuit Court accepted the factual findings of the ALJ, but nonetheless made a ruling that the ALJ’s decision, and the Commission’s affirmance, was “contrary to law”, invoking the standard allowing the reviewing appellate court to determine a “question of law”.

The Court of Appeals affirmed the Circuit Court’s decision.  The panel held that the facts on the administrative law record were undisputed and the reviewing court was therefore authorized to determine whether the decisions below were contrary to or authorized by law.  In doing so, the Circuit Court properly looked to the statutory definition of “disqualifying misconduct”, and to the jurisprudence interpreting and applying that decision.

The Court of Appeals reasoned that the employee’s decision, while a violation of the employer’s policy, constituted a “good-faith error in judgment” and not “disqualifying misconduct” sufficient to deny benefits.

The Court also noted that even if the facts were disputed, the reviewing court had authority to accept the facts on the record and determine whether the administrative agency’s conclusion was legally valid.  In such cases, once the reviewing court makes the determination that the agency’s decision was “legally valid”, it may then determine whether the agency’s findings of facts were supported by the record.

This published opinion offers a fairly thorough, yet succinct, discussion of the standards of review for a court reviewing an administrative agency decision.  On a purely factual level, perhaps it would have behooved the employer to present additional evidence at the administrative level that its enforcement of the computer usage policy related in fact to airline security, and thus, was a determinant factor for satisfactory performance of its own contract with the airport authorities to provide security and refrain from allowing its employees to actually violate airline and airport security measures.

If such evidence was available and had been produced, it would have been more difficult for the Circuit Court to conclude that the employee was not acting against the interests of her employer.

The decision is attached here: Hodge v. U.S. Security Associates, Inc.COA.Published.opn

Effective appellate representation demands different skills than those required by litigation attorneys.  Appellate attorneys are adept at analyzing the intricacies of each case from an objective and critical perspective.  From reviewing and preparing the lower court record, identifying errors for appeal, and developing a strategy to raise those issues that will be addressed by appellate courts, appellate attorneys are capable of handling the most complex appeals from the application stage to oral advocacy before the highest courts.  Our research abilities and knowledge of current issues in nearly all major subject-matter areas of the law provide our clients with efficient and immediate assistance with complex and high-exposure cases.

We are also experienced at navigating through all appellate courts to shepherd the appeal in the most expeditious fashion possible so that it can be reviewed and quickly ruled upon.

Below are some of the recent significant cases prosecuted by the Appeals and Legal Research Group.

  • Omian v. Chrysler, LLC, Michigan Court of Appeals Docket No. 310743, remanded by Supreme Court as on leave granted, Supreme Court No. 146908, oral argument presented July 16, 2014 by Carson J. Tucker for Chrsyler, LLC
  • Moore v. Nolff’s Construction and Travelers Ins., Michigan Court of Appeals Docket No. 313478 and 313440 (consolidated), application and cross-application granted and oral argument in Court of Appeals presented July 2014 by Carson J. Tucker for Nolff’s Construction and Travelers Insurance
  • Arbuckle v. GM, Michigan Court of Appeals Docket No. 310611, oral argument in Court of Appeals presented May 2014 by Carson J. Tucker for GM
  • Yono v. MDOT, ___ Mich. App. ___ (201_), amicus curiae brief filed for Michigan Municipal League and Michigan Townships Association on June 16, 2014, after remand by Carson J. Tucker
  • Estate of Truett v. Wayne County, Unpublished Opinion of the Michigan Court of Appeals, dated May 6, 2014 (Docket No. 313638), briefed and argued by Carson J. Tucker for Wayne County
  • Omian v. Chrysler Group, LLC, 495 Mich. 859 (2013), application filed by Carson J. Tucker, Supreme Court remand to Court of Appeals on leave granted, oral argument to be held in July 2014
  • Ghanam v. John Does, 303 Mich. App. 522 (2013), application to appeal filed in Supreme Court by Carson J. Tucker
  • State Farm v. MMRMA, ___ Mich App ___ (2013), amicus curiae for Oakland County in support of MMRMA application, by Carson J. Tucker
  • Hannay v MDOT, ___ Mich ___ 201_), application granted, amicus curiae filed for Michigan Townships Association, Macomb County, Oakland County and Wayne County, et al., by Carson J. Tucker
  • Yono v. MDOT, ___ Mich ___ (201_), oral argument on application granted, amicus curiae for Oakland, Macomb and Wayne County filed by Carson J. Tucker in support of the state’s application
  • Huddleston v. Trinity Health, et al., 495 Mich. 976 (2014), oral argument on application granted, amicus curiae with Lawrence Garcia, Esq., for MDTC
  • Ashley, LLC v Pittsfield Twp., 494 Mich 875 (2013), application granted, for Pittsfield Township by Carson J. Tucker (resolved by settlement)
  • Bailey v. Schaaf, ___ Mich ___ (2013), amicus curiae for MDTC by Carson J. Tucker
  • Atkins v. SMART, 492 Mich 707 (2012), oral argument on application, Court of Appeals case reversed by opinion, Carson J. Tucker
  • Hagerty v Manistee, 493 Mich 933 (2013), amicus curiae for Michigan Municipal League, et al., by Carson J. Tucker
  • McMurtrie v Eaton Corp, 490 Mich 976 (2011)
  • Findley v DaimlerChrysler Corp., 490 Mich 928 (2011)
  • Brewer v. AD.Transport Express, Inc, 486 Mich 50 (2010)
  • Stokes v Chrysler, 481 Mich 266 (2008)
  • Brackett v Focus Hope, Inc, 482 Mich 269 (2008)
  • Rakestraw v Gen Dynamics, 469 Mich 220 (2003)

Michigan Supreme Court Denies Leave in Two of Three Cases Pending to Address Legal Causation Under No-Fault Act for Motorcycle Accidents

Last week I filed an amicus curiae (friend of the court) brief in the State Farm v. MMRMA case pending on application to the Michigan Supreme Court.  As I mentioned in my last post, there were two other cases, both pending on applications to the Court, which asked the Court to deal with the same issue that is presented in this particular case.  Yesterday, the Court denied the applications in those cases.  See the orders here: DMC Case and Smutski v. Auto-Owners, et al.

There has been no disposition of the application in the case for which I submitted an amicus brief.  Thus, it remains the only one still pending.

I previously wrote about these cases in the following posts:

Amicus Curiae Brief Filed in State Farm v. MMRMA

State Farm Seeks Contribution from County Sheriff for Motorcyclist’s Injuries Suffered in Motor Vehicle Accident While Fleeing from Police

Braverman ex rel Smutski v. Auto-Owners, et al.

DMC v. Progressive, et al.

As I mentioned in my previous posts, the Court of Appeals in the Auto Owners case actually remanded for a determination of the factual circumstances involving the motorcycle accident.  There was a question of fact whether the tractor trailer had identifying lights on while it was in the roadway just before the motorcyclist crashed trying to avoid impact with the truck.  In the DMC v. Progressive case the Court of Appeals actually ruled there was no causation.  The “evidence” of involvement of another vehicle was based only on the motorcyclist’s testimony that an unidentified vehicle was about to cross his path and he wrecked his bike while trying to avoid the collision.

It is difficult, if not impossible, to interpret the Court’s actions from its non-action on these two applications.

We shall see what the Court does with the application in the State Farm case.  Although, interestingly, that case has the added wrinkle of involving a governmental entity as the insurance carrier.  Hence, my participation as amicus curiae author in support of the carrier’s application on behalf of Oakland, Wayne and Macomb counties.

I have been at the forefront of the motorcycle accident cases due to my authorship of amicus curiae briefs in the DeYoung / Spectrum case, which I wrote about here:

Supreme Court to Address Taking of Motorcycle in Insurance Coverage Dispute

Supreme Court Undertakes Joyriding and Unauthorized Taking of Motor Vehicles and Motorcycles

up until the present time involving these most recent significant pronouncements on the level of causation and priority among insurers under MCL 500.3114(5) of Michigan’s No-Fault Act.

For more information about this and other similar cases contact Carson J. Tucker, Chair of the Appeals and Legal Research Group at Lacey & Jones, LLP, a Birmingham law firm serving clients since 1912.  Mr. Tucker can be reached at (248) 283-0763.

For more information about Lacey & Jones, click on the following practice area company pages on Linked In.

Lacey & Jones, LLP’s Appeals and Legal Research Group

Lacey & Jones, LLP’s Insurance Coverage and Recovery Group

Lacey & Jones, LLP’s Civil Litigation Group


Court of Appeals Issue Yet Another Opinion Articulating Different View of “Causation” in Motorcycle Accident Coverage Under No-Fault Act

In Braverman ex rel Smutzki v Auto-Owners Insurance Company, the Court of Appeals issued another legal ruling on the extent or level of “involvement of a motor vehicle” in a motorcycle accident required under the No-Fault Act.  In the past couple of months, the Court of Appeals has issued two other opinions, each of which seem to arrive at differing conclusions regarding the application and definition of the statutory requirement that a motor vehicle be “involved” in an accident with the motorcycle for the motorcyclist to recover benefits under the No-Fault Act.


In this case, the motorcyclist suffered a fatal brain injury when she “laid down her bike” to avoid an apparently imminent collision with a tractor-trailer which was making a slow left turn in front of her.

It was approximately 10:00 p.m.  The street was poorly lit, if at all.  The decedent was riding her bike along with two other motorcyclists.  Their speed was approximated to be 30 to 45 miles per hour.

According to the testimony of one of decedent’s companions, she sped up suddenly and passed him on the left.  He testified this was unusual as they rode together often and he always took the lead and stayed on her left.  He also testified she was looking down at her right hand, which was the throttle side of her bike’s handlebars.  He noted that her throttle had gotten stuck once in the past when he was riding her bike.  He speculated at his deposition this may have been the cause for her sudden acceleration, her unusual maneuver around his left side, and her focus on her throttle rather than the road in front of her.

At a point shortly thereafter, the decedent looked up and saw the tractor-trailer.  Instead of stopping, she swerved and “laid down her bike” to avoid collision.  She did not come into contact with the tractor-trailer.  She suffered a fatal brain injury as a result of her fall.

The accident occurred at approximately 10:00 p.m. on a street with little or no lighting.  There was conflicting testimony as to whether the tractor-trailer’s lights were illuminated at the time of the accident.

Court Rulings

Under the no-fault act, MCL 500.3101 et seq., a motorcycle is not a “motor vehicle.”  MCL 500.3101(2)(e).  For an injured motorcyclist to recover personal insurance protection (PIP) benefits, the accident must “involve a motor vehicle.”  MCL 500.3105; Auto Club Ins Ass’n v State Auto Mut Ins Co, 258 Mich App 328, 331 n 1; 671 NW2d 132 (2003).

MCL 500.3114(5) establishes the order of priority of insurance coverage with respect to which insurer must pay the PIP benefits to the injured motorcyclist:

A person suffering accidental bodily injury arising from a motor vehicle accident which shows evidence of the involvement of a motor vehicle while an operator or passenger of a motorcycle shall claim personal protection insurance benefits from insurers in the following order of priority:

(a) The insurer of the owner or registrant of the motor vehicle involved in the accident;

(b) The insurer of the operator of the motor vehicle involved in the accident.

(c) The motor vehicle insurer of the operator of the motorcycle involved in the accident.

(d) The motor vehicle insurer of the owner or registrant of the motorcycle involved in the accident.

(emphasis added).

Thus, if the tractor-trailer was “involved in the accident” that led to decedent’s injuries and death, then her estate can recover PIP benefits from defendant under MCL 500.3114(5)(a).  Generally, when there is physical contact between the injured party and a motor vehicle, that motor vehicle is involved under MCL 500.3114(5).  See Auto Club Ins Ass’n, 258 Mich App at 339-341. In this case, the parties agreed that neither decedent nor her motorcycle ever came into contact with the tractor-trailer. However, even if there was no physical contact, a motor vehicle
can still be involved in an accident. See Turner v Auto Club Ins Ass’n, 448 Mich 22, 39; 528 NW2d 681 (1995); Frierson v West American Ins Co, 261 Mich App 732, 736-737; 683 NW2d
695 (2004).  In Turner, the Supreme Court held:  [F]or a vehicle to be considered “involved in the accident” under MCL 500.3125 the motor vehicle, being operated or used as a motor vehicle, must actively, as opposed to passively, contribute to the accident. Showing a mere “but for” connection between the operation or use of the motor vehicle and the damage is not enough to establish that the vehicle is “involved in the accident[.]”  In Turner, 448 Mich at 25-26, a police car had its lights activated and was quickly pursuing a stolen vehicle. The stolen vehicle ran a red light and hit two trucks. Turner, 448 Mich at 25-26. One of the trucks split into two and crashed into a building, causing a fire and extensive property damage. Id. at 26. The police car did not collide with the stolen vehicle or either truck. Id. Nonetheless, our Supreme Court held that the police car was involved in the accident because its pursuit of the stolen vehicle prompted that vehicle’s driver “to ignore the red light and collide with the other vehicles,” so its insurer was responsible for paying property protection benefits with respect to the damaged building. Id. at 42-43.

In this case, the trial court concluded that the tractor-trailer was involved in the accident as a matter of law because the accident occurred when decedent reacted to the tractor-trailer in the road. The court compared the tractor-trailer to the police car in Turner, 448 Mich at 42-43, which the Court held was involved in the accident that caused property damage because the police car’s lights and speed caused the car it was pursuing to crash into another
vehicle, which then crashed into a building. Given this conclusion, the trial court ruled in plaintiff’s favor as a matter of law.

The Court of Appeals reverses, holding the trial court’s “but for” analysis was prohibited by the Supreme Court’s decision in Turnersupra, and that further factual development needed to occur to consider the extent to which the tractor-trailer was involved in the accident.

The panel somehow concludes the fact the tractor-trailer was moving slowly as opposed to stopped in the roadway made a difference in the extent to which it was or was not “involved” in the motorcyclist’s accident.  The panel also notes there was a factual question concerning whether the tractor-trailer was visible, given the time at night, the poor lighting of the roadway, and some conflict in the testimony concerning whether the operator of the tractor trailer had illuminated his lights and flashers.

There are several other interim rulings made by the Court of Appeals that are of import to the remand proceedings and the remaining progression of the case, but the focus of this article is on the divergence, yet again, in causation analysis under the No-Fault Act.

Conclusion and Takeaway

This is yet another case adding to confusion (or at least uncertainty) of the extent to which an automobile must truly be involved in, i.e., the cause of or a cause of, an accident involving a motorcycle.  The answer to the inquiry is extremely important in determining the priorities of insurance coverage available under the No-Fault Act.

Two of my prior posts speak to the “causation” analyses being employed by the courts in motorcycle accidents (and each of the cases appears to come to varying results (particularly in the spectrum of causative factors applied to come to the conclusion that a motor vehicle was in fact involved in a motorcycle accident).

Those posts are as follows:

Police Vehicle Involved In Motorcyclist’s Accident with Another Vehicle Where Police Vehicle Pursued Motorcyclist But Then Gave Up On the Chase

Motorcyclist’s Attempt to Avoid Collision with Motor Vehicle Not Sufficient “Involvement” of Motor Vehicle in Accident to Trigger Priority of Coverage Analysis

The Supreme Court appears to be narrowing (rather than expanding) the spectrum of causative factors in more recent pronouncements concerning “causation”, generally, under the No-Fault Act.

Supreme Court’s Decision in McPherson Concerning “Causation” in No-Fault Automobile Insurance Coverage Case

Considering the Supreme Court’s more recent pronouncement in McPherson, the dubious nature of the causation analysis employed in the 1995 Turner decision, the facts presented here, and other contrary Court of Appeals opinions, I believe this case is destined for further appellate treatment by the Supreme Court.

There are different statutory provisions at stake, but the attenuated nature of the causation analysis employed by the Court of Appeals in the instant case does seem to warrant further treatment by Michigan’s One Court of Justice.

It seems the answer lies somewhere in between the “actual contact” rule and the “passive contribution” or “but for” rule.

We shall see.

For more information about this and other similar cases contact Carson J. Tucker, Chair of the Appeals and Legal Research Group at Lacey & Jones, LLP, a Birmingham law firm serving clients since 1912.  Mr. Tucker can be reached at (248) 283-0763.

For more information about Lacey & Jones, click on the following practice area company pages on Linked In.

Lacey & Jones, LLP’s Appeals and Legal Research Group

Lacey & Jones, LLP’s Insurance Coverage and Recovery Group

Lacey & Jones, LLP’s Civil Litigation Group