Articles Posted in Car Accidents

A plaintiff was stopped on I-94 in Michigan when her vehicle was rear-ended by a vehicle driven by an FBI agent. The plaintiff asserted that the impact caused or exacerbated neck and back injuries and sued the federal government pursuant to the Federal Tort Claims Act. The defendant moved for summary judgment. The United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan granted in part and denied in part.

car accident
In this Michigan car accident case, the district court explained, the accident occurred on a Michigan highway, and therefore, Michigan law governed the court’s determination of liability and damages. Under Michigan’s No-Fault Act, “tort liability for non-economic loss arising out of the ownership, maintenance, or use of a qualifying motor vehicle is limited to a list of enumerated circumstances.”

The appeals court explained that the defendant discharged their initial summary-judgment burden of showing that the accident was not the proximate cause of the plaintiff’s spinal issues.

A plaintiff appealed the trial court’s order granting the defendant’s motion for summary disposition under MCR 2.116(C)(10). Holding that there was a genuine issue of material fact as to whether the plaintiff was more than 50 percent at fault for the accident, the Michigan appeals court reversed and remanded.

autumn highway

At around 9:15 p.m. on November 2, 2013, the plaintiff was walking home from the Applebee’s restaurant where he worked. He testified that he was walking northbound on Monroe Street, while the defendant was driving northbound on Monroe Street, talking on his cell phone with his girlfriend. The defendant’s vehicle struck the plaintiff near the intersection of Monroe Street and LaSalle Road, severely injuring him.

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The Michigan Court of Appeals recently reversed the order of summary disposition granted to a defendant driver and Progressive Insurance in an action for third-party no-fault benefits following a car accident.


On May 9, 2011, in the City of Bingham Farms, the plaintiff was driving southbound on Telegraph Road when he was struck by the defendant, whose vehicle “entered the wrong turnaround on Telegraph Road,” “failed to yield to oncoming traffic,” drove in front of the plaintiff’s vehicle, and caused a collision. The plaintiff, with his wife, filed a three-count complaint on May 9, 2014 against the driver and Progressive jointly and severally, alleging claims of negligence, underinsured motorist coverage, and loss of consortium resulting from the May 9, 2011 motor vehicle accident. Both defendants answered the complaint, and discovery ensued. Motions for summary disposition followed.

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Plaintiffs Fred St. Onge and Karen Ross were hit by a State of Michigan vehicle driven by defendant Ramona G. Smith, an employee of the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA). The lower court granted summary disposition to Smith, pursuant to the Governmental Tort Liability Act (GTLA), reasoning that Smith was entitled to governmental immunity because she was acting within the scope of employment when the crash occurred. The Michigan Court of Appeals affirmed.Lake Superior

One afternoon in September 2011, Smith inspected a nursing home in Negaunee as part of her employment with LARA. She was permitted to stay in a hotel that night rather than driving home. On her way to the hotel in Munising, Smith turned left on US-41 in front of the plaintiffs’ oncoming car.

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In February 2012, Chris Penzak was crossing Parent Street in Royal Oak to her car after leaving an appointment. She tripped and fell when her toe hit a one-half inch rise in the road. Penzak suffered injuries to her pelvis, rib, and knees. She had been attending appointments in the same building twice a week for several years, but she had never had issues crossing the road or noticed the defect in the road. Pensak sued the City of Royal Oak. sidewalk-2-1571119

The city moved for summary disposition based on governmental immunity. Following a hearing, the trial court granted the defendant’s motion, holding that the plaintiff failed to raise a genuine issue of fact that the highway exception to governmental immunity applied to this case. On appeal, the plaintiff argued that the trial court erred when it granted summary disposition to the defendant. The appellate court upheld the grant of summary judgment, but for slightly different reasons than the trial court.

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Two recent published opinions by the Michigan Court of Appeals reaffirm the right of medical providers to bring their no-fault benefits claims to court, even when the patient settles or becomes non-cooperative.operating-room-1442366

Covenant Medical Center, Inc. v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company ensures that no-fault benefits claims aren’t resolved without medical providers’ approval by an injured party’s settlement.

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