Volume XXVII, No. 10, May 13, 2015        

From the Law Offices of Garan Lucow Miller, P.C.

From the Editor: Sarah Nadeau 



The new address for our Detroit office will be:

1155 Brewery Park Blvd.
 Suite 200
 Detroit, MI 48207

The new office space is known as Brewery Park and is at the site of the old Stroh Brewery (now Crain Communications).

We will be in our new location on Monday, June 29th, 2015.  All contact information for Detroit office employees will remain the same.  (Phone numbers and email address(es) will not change.

The firm has long been committed to educating its clients in various areas of the law.  The new property, which is only a few blocks from our current location, will include a high-tech instructive classroom and space to have Webinars and connect digitally with clients across the country which will enable us to take educating our clients to another level.

We look forward to serving each and every one of you in our new home.


No-Fault Act Limits Damage Recovery for Out-of State Truck to Mini-Tort Limit


By Ladd Culbertson 


In a published Opinion, the Michigan Court of Appeals has held that the damage recovery for a non-Michigan resident owner of a semi truck which was totaled in an accident with a drunk driver was limited to the $500 mini-tort amount.  In Diallo v Larochelle, ___ Mich App ___; ___ NW2d ___ (Docket No. 319680, issued May 5, 2015), the Court rejected an inventive argument by the Plaintiff which attempted to circumvent the tort immunity and mini-tort limitations of Michigan’s No-Fault Act.

On April 16, 2011, Joseph Carrington, was driving the semi-truck owned by Plaintiff, Mahmoud Diallo, who was himself a resident of Georgia.  While Carrington was traveling southbound on a Michigan expressway he was struck head-on by a vehicle being driven northbound in the wrong lane by a drunk driver.

The Plaintiff argued that he was entitled to recover the full amount of the damages to his truck, rather than just the $500 mini-tort amount.  In support of that claim, he attempted to rely upon MCL 500.3135(3)(d), which states:

(3)      Notwithstanding any other provision of law, tort liability arising from the ownership, maintenance or use within this state of a motor vehicle with respect to which the security required by section 3101 was in effect is abolished except as to:


 (d)     Damages for economic loss by a non-resident in excess of the personal protection insurance benefits provided under Sec. 3163(4).

For reference, § 3163(4) of the Michigan Automobile No-Fault Insurance Act provides:

If an insurer of an out-of-state resident is required to provide benefits under subsections (1) and (3) to that out-of-state resident for an accident in which the out-of-state resident was not an occupant of a motor vehicle registered in this state, the insurer is only liable for the amount of ultimate loss sustained up to $500,000.

The Plaintiff alleged that he had sustained economic loss in excess of the personal protection benefits provided under §3163(4), and that as a non-resident of the State of Michigan he was therefore entitled to recover the full amount of the damages to his truck under §3135(3)(d).  He suggested that the claimed damages were not personal protection insurance benefits provided under §3163(4), and therefore were reimbursable as excess economic loss.

However, the Court of Appeals held that the Legislature’s use of the phrase “damages for economic loss” only referred to losses provided for through the personal protection insurance benefit system, and that “no other economic damages may be pursued under MCL 500.3135(3)(d)”.  (Slip Op. p. 6).

Because plaintiff was never provided personal protection benefits under MCL 500.3163(4), it is impossible for plaintiff to be entitled to pursue economic damages in excess of those provided under MCL 500.3163(4).


Because plaintiff is not attempting to bring suit for economic loss in excess of benefits already provided for under MCL 500.3163(4), MCL 500.3135(3)(d) does not apply and plaintiff has no cause of action under that statute.

(Slip Op. p. 8).

For these reasons, the Court concluded that the Plaintiff was not permitted to recover for the damages to his semi-truck in excess of the limits available under the mini-tort provisions of the statue.  Instead the Plaintiff was limited to his $500 mini-tort recovery.




The 2015 Windy city Seminar will take place on Thursday, June 18, at the Chicago Marriott Schaumburg.

Please join us for a complimentary full day seminar, lunch will be included, also 6 Illinois Continuing Education Credits will be offered.

To register please contact Eileen Carty at: or 800-875-7600.


Seminar Agenda:


8:30 – 8:55 a.m.      Continental Breakfast and Registration. 


8:55 – 9:00 a.m.      Welcome and Introduction.

                   Speaker: David A. Couch, Esq. 


9:00 – 10:00 a.m.    Illinois First Party and Third Party Auto Law Updates.

Speaker: Jennifer E. Davis, Esq.


10:00 – 10:15 a.m.  Illinois Premises Liability Law Updates.

Speaker: David A. Couch, Esq. 


10:15 – 10:30 a.m.  Illinois Premises Liability Law Comparison With Adjacent State Laws.

Speaker: David A. Couch, Esq.


10:30 – 10:45 a.m.   Break


10:45 – 11:30 a.m.  Michigan First Party Auto Law Updates and Comparison with Illinois and Indiana Law.

Speaker: John W. Whitman, Esq. 


11:30 – 12:00 noon  Michigan Third Party Auto Law Updates and Comparison with Illinois Law.

                             Speaker: David A. Couch, Esq.


12:00 – 12:15 p.m.  Question and Answer Session. 


12:15 – 12:30 p.m.  Examination on Illinois Law Topics and Comparison with Adjacent State Laws.                                               


12:30 – 1:00 p.m.    Lunch provided at the Chicago Marriott Schaumburg 


1:00 – 4:00 p.m.      Trial and Deposition Boot Camp.

Presenters: John W. Whitman, Jennifer E. Davis, and David A. Couch