A-M Law's Joe Mierzejewski prevails in the Court of Appeals

Joe Mierzejewski recently prevailed in a no-fault PIP appeal involving issues of occupancy of a motor vehicle and priority between no-fault insurers. In The Detroit Medical Center and Shaheerah English v Titan Insurance Company and Citizens Insurance Company (Michigan Court of Appeals, Unpublished, December 18, 2012), the issue before the Court was which of two no-fault insurers owed benefits for serious injuries sustained by Shaheerah English. In affirming the trial court decision, the Court of Appeals unanimously agreed that Ms. English was, as a matter of law, not an occupant of a parked, uninsured motor vehicle at the time she sustained her serious injuries, rendering the vehicle which struck the parked vehicle first in the order of no-fault priorities. Mr. Mierzejewski's client was an Assigned Claims Servicing Insurer, Titan. The striking vehicle's insurer was found liable for all PIP benefits. The Appellant had argued that it was impractical to attempt to separate the injuries sustained by the Claimant from the injuries which occurred while the Claimant occupied the parked van from those sustained when she was thrown from the van and struck by the vehicle which struck the van, then continued on to strike Ms. English. Appellant had argued that the first impact should determine which insurer is responsible for all injuries. The Court disagreed and affirmed the trial court's finding that the vehicle which struck the van, then struck Ms. English, was responsible for all PIP benefits. It is unknown whether Appellant will seek Application for Leave to Appeal to the Supreme Court.

If you have any questions regarding occupancy, priority disputes or parked vehicles relating to no-fault PIP cases, contact Joe Mierzejewski at 248-338-2290 or jmierz@a-mlaw.com