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Clay v. Doe

Court of Appeals of Michigan

July 14, 2015

WILLIE CLAY, Plaintiff-Appellant,
v.
JOHN DOE, Defendant, and SUBURBAN MOBILITY AUTHORITY FOR REGIONAL TRANSPORTATION, Defendant-Appellee

Page 249

Editorial Note:

This opinion is subject to revision before final publication in the Michigan Court of Appeals reports.

Macomb Circuit Court. LC No. 2013-001082-NI.

For WILLIE CLAY, Plaintiff-Appellant: CARL L. COLLINS III, SOUTHFIELD, MI.

For JOHN DOE, SUBURBAN MOBILITY AUTHORITY FOR REGIONAL TRANSPORTATION, Defendants-Appellees: BARBARA D. URLAUB, TROY, MI.

Before: SAAD, P.J., and M. J. KELLY and SHAPIRO, JJ.

OPINION

Page 250

[311 Mich.App. 360] Per Curiam.

Plaintiff appeals the trial court's order that granted summary disposition pursuant to MCR 2.116(C)(7). For the reasons stated below, we affirm.

I. FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

While boarding a Suburban Mobility Authority for Regional Transportation (SMART) bus on April 18, 2011, plaintiff slipped and fell on the wet floor of the bus aisle. Thereafter, he filed a claim for no-fault benefits from SMART's insurance administrator, which received the claim on July 5, 2011, 78 days after plaintiff was injured. Almost two years later, on March 20, 2013, plaintiff filed a complaint against defendant SMART in the Macomb Circuit Court, [311 Mich.App. 361] which alleged that SMART and the unidentified bus driver committed the common-law tort of negligence. Specifically, plaintiff claimed that the bus driver accelerated too quickly as he drove the bus away from the stop, which caused plaintiff to slip, fall, and incur injuries.

SMART moved for summary disposition under MCR 2.116(C)(7), (C)(8), and (C)(10), and argued, among other things, that plaintiff's claim was barred by: (1) MCL 124.419, which requires tort claimants against a transportation authority to provide the authority with " written notice of any claim based upon injury . . . no later than 60 days from the occurrence through which such injury is sustained" and (2) Atkins v SMART, 492 Mich. 707; 716, 822 N.W.2d 522 (2012), which held that a claimant, such as plaintiff, who files an application for no-fault benefits from a transit authority's insurance administrator, does not comply with the 60-day notice requirement of MCL 124.419. After a hearing, the trial court issued a written opinion and order that granted SMART's motion for summary disposition pursuant to MCR 2.116(C)(7). The court held that plaintiff failed to comply with MCL 124.419, because he did not " serve[]" SMART's insurance administrator with " written notice" of his claim " no later than 60 days from the occurrence" of his injury.

On appeal, plaintiff claims that the trial court erred when it granted summary disposition because: (1) he complied with MCL 124.419 when he mailed a claim for no-fault benefits to SMART's insurance administrator and (2) Atkins postdated the events that led to this suit. SMART reiterates ...


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