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Archey v. QBE Insurance Corporation

United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division

December 30, 2014

JUSTIN MICHAEL ARCHEY, Plaintiff,
v.
QBE INSURANCE CORPORATION, Defendant.

OPINION AND ORDER GRANTING PLAINTIFF'S MOTIONS FOR PARTIAL SUMMARY JUDGMENT (ECF ## 18, 20)

MATTHEW F. LEITMAN, District Judge.

INTRODUCTION

In this action, Plaintiff Justin Michael Archey ("Archey") seeks from Defendant QBE Insurance Corporation ("QBE") certain attendant-care, work-loss, and other benefits available under Michigan's No-Fault Insurance Act. Archey has filed two motions for partial summary judgment. ( See ECF ## 18, 20.) For the reasons stated below, the Court GRANTS Archey's motions.

RELEVANT FACTUAL BACKGROUND

On June 20, 2012, Archey was a passenger in a pickup truck that was involved in a serious rollover car accident. ( See medical records at ECF #18-2, Pg. ID 90.) Archey was ejected from the vehicle and suffered substantial injuries, including a fractured spine. ( See id. ) As a result of the accident, Archey is now a quadriplegic. ( See id. at Pg. ID 91.) The injuries Archey suffered require constant care, and his doctors have prescribed him both attendant-care services (twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week) and household-replacement services. ( See ECF #12-6; See also ECF #12-8 at Pg. ID 132.)

The insurance company responsible for coverage of Archey's benefits is QBE. "QBE does not dispute coverage." (QBE Response Brief, ECF #24 at 1, Pg. ID 320.) Indeed, QBE admits that "[t]o the extent [Archey] can demonstrate that he incurred expenses that are reasonably necessary for his care, recovery and rehabilitation for injuries he sustained in the motor vehicle accident, QBE would be the highest in priority for those benefits." ( Id. ) Moreover, QBE "does not dispute" the "factual account" of the accident or Archey's injuries, and it concedes that Archey requires "significant medical treatment and care." ( Id. )

PROCEDURAL HISTORY

On June 10, 2013, Archey filed this action against QBE in the Washtenaw County Circuit Court. ( See the "Complaint, " ECF #1-2.) In his Complaint, Archey alleged that QBE had "refused to pay [him] all those personal protection insurance benefits which have been incurred in accordance with the applicable no fault act and the [provisions of Archey's insurance] contract." ( Id. at ¶10.) Archey sought a declaratory judgment and asked the state circuit court to determine, among other things, "the amount of personal protection insurance benefits including no fault interest and actual attorney fees are owed to [him]." ( Id. at ¶ 15.) QBE thereafter removed Archey's action to this Court. ( See Notice of Removal, ECF #1.)

Archey has now filed two motions for partial summary judgment. In his first motion, Archey seeks a judgment that he is entitled to the following: (1) payment (pursuant to MCL § 500.3107(1)(a)) for attendant-care services that his family has provided to him; (2) payment (pursuant to MCL § 500.3107(1)(b)) for work-loss benefits to replace wages that Archey earned from his primary employment before he was injured; (3) payment (pursuant to MCL § 500.3107(1)(c)) for household-replacement services; (4) penalty interest (pursuant to MCL § 500.3142); and (5) penalty attorney fees (pursuant to MCL § 500.3148). ( See ECF #18.) In his second motion, Archey seeks payment for attendant-care services that Health Partners, Inc. ("Health Partners") has provided to him, as well as penalty interest and attorney fees. ( See ECF #20.) The Court held a hearing on Archey's motions on December 3, 2014, and for the reasons stated herein, it now grants Archey's motions.

GOVERNING LEGAL STANDARD

A movant is entitled to summary judgment when it "shows that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact...." U.S. SEC v. Sierra Brokerage Services, Inc., 712 F.3d 321, 326-27 (6th Cir. 2013) (citing Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 251-52 (1986)) (quotations omitted). "The mere existence of a scintilla of evidence in support of the [non-moving party's] position will be insufficient; there must be evidence on which the jury could reasonably find for [that party]." Anderson, 477 U.S. at 252. However, summary judgment is not appropriate when "the evidence presents a sufficient disagreement to require submission to a jury." Id. at 251-252. When reviewing the record, "the court must view the evidence in the light most favorable to the non-moving party and draw all reasonable inferences in its favor." Id. Indeed, "[c]redibility determinations, the weighing of the evidence, and the drafting of legitimate inferences from the facts are jury functions, not those of a judge..." Id. at 255.

ANALYSIS

A. Michigan's No-Fault Insurance Benefits Regime

Michigan's No-Fault Insurance Act, MCL § 500.3101 et seq. (the "No-Fault Act"), "is a comprehensive legislative enactment designed to regulate the insurance of motor vehicles in the state of Michigan and the payment of benefits from accidents involving those motor vehicles." K.G. v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company, 674 F.Supp.2d 862, 866 (E.D. Mich. 2009). Pursuant to the No-Fault Act, an injured person may claim personal injury protection ("PIP") benefits that include the "reasonably necessary products, services and accommodations for an injured person's care, recovery, or rehabilitation." MCL § 500.3107(1)(a). PIP ...


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