Volume XXVII, No. 1, January 14, 2015       

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

From the Editor: Sarah Nadeau 


A Healthcare Provider Has Standing To Bring A Cause Of Action Against A No-Fault Insurer For PIP Benefits

Under The No-Fault Act 

By Bryan Valentine

On December 9, 2014, the Michigan Court of Appeals approved for publication its opinion in Wyoming Chiropractic Health Clinic v. Auto-Owners Insurance Company; ___ Mich App ___; ___ NW2d ___ (12/9/14).  In Wyoming, Auto-Owners argued that Wyoming Chiropractic was not the real party in interest but had improperly asserted the rights of the underlying insured individuals. Auto-Owners asserted, therefore, that Wyoming Chiropractic did not have standing to bring the case under the No-Fault Act.

The Wyoming Court’s opinion outlines several cases in which the Court of Appeals has recognized a third-party’s right to sue on behalf of an underlying insured in the past.  The Court specifically referenced cases which determined the following:

  • A Hospital has a right to sue an insurer for payment of unpaid bills under the No-Fault Act (Munson Med Ctr v Auto Club Ins Ass’n, 218 Mich App 375);
  • Healthcare services provider is entitled to enforce the penalty interest and attorney fee provisions of the No-Fault Act against the defendant no-fault insurer (Lakeland Neurocare Ctrs v State Farm Mut Auto Ins Co, 250 Mich App 35);
  • Plaintiff, a political subdivision of the State of Michigan who ran a hospital that provided care to an individual involved in a motor vehicle accident, had both a derivative claim against the no-fault insurer, as well as a direct claim (Regents of U of M v State Farm Mut Ins Co, 250 Mich App 719).

The Wyoming Court also noted that recently, in Mich Head & Spine Inst PC v State Farm Mut Auto Ins Co, 299 Mich App 442, the Court of Appeals had reiterated that the No-Fault Act creates an independent cause of action for healthcare providers.  Based upon the above cases, the Wyoming Court held that Wyoming had standing to bring a cause of action against Auto-Owners for PIP benefits under the No-Fault Act where Wyoming brought the action “for the benefit of” an insured individual.


2015 Windy City Seminar 

The Windy City Seminar originally scheduled for January 22, 2015, at the Marriott Schaumburg, will be rescheduled due to a delay in obtaining CEU credits. We apologize for the inconvenience. Please watch LawFax for updates and a new date. Thank you.