Kenneth Allen v. Hanover Insurance Group, Inc.

Rick Patterson and Sajid Islam prevailed in the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals after Sajid Islam obtained summary judgment of a plaintiff’s claim for $1,000,000 in underinsured motorist benefits. Rick and Sajid argued that the district court judge properly granted summary judgment of plaintiff’s claims as plaintiff had made material misrepresentations and committed fraud in connection with his claim for underinsured motorist benefits. After oral arguments in the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, the Court issued an Opinion affirming the district court’s holding that the plaintiff made material misrepresentations and committed fraud in connection with his claim, and that underinsured motorist coverage was therefore excluded under the terms of the policy.

Robin London v Auto-Owners Insurance Company

Adam Gordon, Samantha Boyd, and Candice Cosby obtained summary disposition of Plaintiff’s and Cross-Plaintiff’s claims against their clients, insurance providers in an action pending in the Oakland County Circuit Court.

Plaintiff sought first-party No-Fault Benefits and underinsured motorist benefits, while Cross-Plaintiff, an additional insurance provider, claimed that it was not highest in the order of priority for the payment of No-Fault Benefits to or on behalf of Plaintiff, and requested reimbursement for all amounts owed to Plaintiff.

Ms. Cosby prepared and argued the Motion for Summary Disposition, asserting that proper notice had not been provided to her clients as set forth in MCL 500.3145(1), as notice had not been provided until 22 months following the subject accident. In addition, Ms. Cosby argued that pursuant to MCL 500.3114, her clients were not highest in the order of priority. More specifically it was argued that, Plaintiff was not the named in the policy issued by her clients, was not married, and was not domiciled at the policyholder’s household.

The Court ruled that Cross-Plaintiff was the insurer in the highest order of priority relative to the Plaintiff’s No-Fault Benefits claims and further ruled that Plaintiff was not domiciled at the policyholder’s household. Plaintiff’s and Cross-Plaintiff’s Complaints were thereafter dismissed.

Detroit Mercy Law Review Student Note Forthcoming Publication

Cassidy Capoferri’s Law Review Note has been selected for publication by the University of Detroit Mercy Law Review. Cassidy’s student Note will be published in Detroit Mercy’s upcoming 100th volume. The topic of the Note is tort liability for fully autonomous vehicles in relation to potential cyber attacks. Cassidy is a rising 3L at the University of Detroit Mercy Law School, where she serves as the Executive Editor of Inside Articles for the Law Review. Cassidy has worked as a clerk at Vandeveer Garzia for the last year and made the decision to write her Note on the topic of tort law because of her work at the firm.

Farm Bureau v. Hanover Insurance Group et al.

Veronica Prange obtained summary disposition of Plaintiff’s claims against her client, Hanover Insurance Group, in a lawsuit in which Plaintiff sought a declaration from the Circuit Court that Hanover Insurance Group was the insurer in the highest order of priority to pay the underlying Claimant’s First Party No-Fault benefits. Ms. Prange filed a Motion for Summary Disposition and a Supplemental Brief in Support of the Motion arguing that because the Claimant was an uninsured pedestrian on the date of the subject matter accident and the accident itself took place after the statutory amendments to MCL 500.3114(1) and MCL 500.3115 went into effect on June 11, 2019, Plaintiff was the insurer in the highest order of priority to pay the Claimant’s No-Fault benefits. In addition, Ms. Prange argued that there were no applicable exceptions to the statutory provisions, regardless of the substance of a Michigan Assigned Claims Plan bulletin on which Plaintiff heavily relied. On the date of the hearing on Ms. Prange’s Motion, the Court waived oral argument and instead read an opinion and order onto the record that agreed with Defendant Hanover’s arguments, affirming that the Court was bound by the amended versions of MCL 500.3114(1) and MCL 500.3115 and there were no applicable exceptions to the same. The Court ruled that Plaintiff was the insurer in the highest order of priority relative to the Claimant’s No-Fault claims and that Hanover Insurance Group was not in the order of priority whatsoever.

Antishin v. Janiszewski

Veronica Prange successfully obtained summary disposition of a Plaintiff’s entire lawsuit against her client, the Estate of a deceased insured, for third party damages resulting from a motor vehicle accident that took place in October 2016. After having a default against the Estate set aside, Ms. Prange filed a Motion for Summary Disposition in lieu of an Answer to the Amended Complaint. She argued that process issued in the matter was insufficient, service of process was insufficient and improper, and the Court never obtained jurisdiction over the Estate, as the Personal Representative was the real party in interest and was never named in the Amended Complaint, a summons never issued as to the Personal Representative, and she was never served with the Amended Complaint. In addition, Ms. Prange argued that, even if the Court deemed service sufficient in the matter, Plaintiff’s Amended Complaint named a new party, the Estate, and did not relate back to the filing of the original complaint. Ultimately, the Court agreed with the Defendant Estate on all points and entered an Order dismissing Plaintiff’s claims.

Rhonda Holland v National General Insurance Company

Adam Gordon and Candice Cosby obtained voluntary dismissal of Plaintiff’s uninsured and underinsured motorist benefits claim following filing a Motion for Summary Disposition arguing that the policy did not provide for said benefits. Additionally, it was argued that the Plaintiff’s Complaint was filed outside of the statute of limitations as provided by MCL 600.5805(2).

Ellizhaj Simms, Physical Therapy Management and United Labs v Integon National Insurance Company

Adam Gordon, Samantha Boyd, and Candice Cosby were successful in obtaining Intervening Plaintiffs’ voluntarily dismissal of its suit following filing a motion for summary disposition arguing Intervening Plaintiffs’ claims were extinguished based on the dismissal with prejudice of the underlying claimant’s claims.

Allen v Hanover Insurance Group, et al.

Sajid Islam successfully obtained summary judgment of the plaintiff’s claims for underinsured motorist benefits from a national insurance carrier and client of the firm. Specifically, the plaintiff claimed entitlement to $1,000,000.00 in underinsured motorist coverage. After conducting discovery, Sajid filed a motion for summary judgment arguing that the plaintiff had committed fraud in connection with his claim for underinsured motorist benefits by affirmatively representing that he had a viable claim for underinsured motorist benefits and that all conditions precedent required under the policy of insurance had been met when these representations were, in fact, untrue. Sajid successfully argued that all of the elements of fraud had been established, and that there was no genuine issue of material fact that the plaintiff had made a material misrepresentation that he knew was false at the time that he made it with the intention that the carrier would rely upon it and pay damages. The federal court judge agreed with Sajid’s position and granted summary judgment thereby dismissing the plaintiff’s claim for $1,000,000.00 in underinsured motorist benefits.

Fero v Franchetti

Sajid Islam obtained summary disposition in a third-party negligence lawsuit against his client alleging entitlement to damages as a result of a motor vehicle accident. Specifically, Sajid filed a Motion for Summary Disposition arguing that there was no genuine issue of material fact that the plaintiff had not sustained a serious impairment of an important body function, as there was no evidence of an objectively manifested impairment or effect on plaintiff’s ability to lead her normal life. Sajid argued that the diagnostic imaging was devoid of any accident-related findings and that plaintiff had not rebutted the evidence that he proffered as required under MCR 2.116(C)(10). The court also agreed that the chiropractor treatment that plaintiff cited was based upon the plaintiff’s subjective assessment and history, and was therefore, not sufficient to prove an objectively manifested impairment. The court ruled that Sajid’s client was entitled to summary disposition and dismissed the plaintiff’s claims entirely.

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