Dismissal of claims against our client

Monday February 18, 2019

Shield Global Partners v Allstate Insurance Company, et al.

Donald Brownell and Sajid Islam successfully obtained summary disposition of Plaintiff’s claims against their client, Allstate Insurance Company, in a lawsuit in which Plaintiff sought a declaration from the circuit court that it was entitled to diminished value damages under the mini-tort provision of the Michigan No-Fault Act and that insurance companies were obligated to pay diminished value damages. Plaintiff sued Allstate Insurance Company and several other insurance companies alleging that it had been assigned the right from GM Financial to pursue diminished value damages for vehicles that GM had previously leased and which were involved in accidents that diminished their value despite proper repairs. Plaintiff argued that it could seek such damages directly from the insurance companies. Sajid drafted a Joint Motion for Summary Disposition on behalf of the Defendant insurance companies, with input from Counsel for the other Defendant insurance companies, and Donald Brownell argued the Joint Motion. Specifically, it was argued that Plaintiff failed to present a case of actual controversy and that the court lacked subject matter jurisdiction to declare the rights of the parties. Further, Defendants argued that the necessary parties, the actual tortfeasors, were not parties to the matter, Plaintiff’s claim was entirely hypothetical in nature, and that mini-tort actions must be brought in the district court, as the amount in controversy could never exceed $25,000.00. Additionally, it was argued that a mini-tort claim could never be brought directly against an insurance company. Thus, Defendants argued that the court lacked subject matter jurisdiction. Ultimately, the court agreed with Defendants and entered an order dismissing Plaintiff’s claims without prejudice, noting that it lacked subject matter jurisdiction to enter a declaration in such an abstract case and where the action involved the mini-tort statute, which caps damages below the circuit court’s jurisdictional threshold.

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