Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Dawoud v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co.

Court of Appeals of Michigan

October 18, 2016

KEVIN DAWOUD and MIKHO ESSA by Next Friend BILBIL MANO and RASHA KAMEL, Plaintiffs,
v.
STATE FARM MUTUAL AUTOMOBILE INSURANCE COMPANY, Defendant-Appellee. and GRACE TRANSPORTATION, INC., Intervening Plaintiff, and UTICA PHYSICAL THERAPY, Intervening Plaintiff-Appellant, KEVIN DAWOUD and MIKHO ESSA by Next Friend BILBIL MANO and RASHA KAMEL, Plaintiffs, and GRACE TRANSPORTATION, INC., Intervening Plaintiff-Appellant, and UTICA PHYSICAL THERAPY, Intervening Plaintiff,
v.
STATE FARM MUTUAL AUTOMOBILE INSURANCE COMPANY, Defendant-Appellee.

         Wayne Circuit Court LC No. 13-01037-NF

          Before: Saad, P.J., and Jansen and M. J. Kelly, JJ.

          PER CURIAM.

         In this consolidated appeal, [1] Grace Transportation, Inc. and Utica Physical Therapy (collectively, "the service providers") appeal the trial court's order that granted summary disposition in favor of defendant, State Farm, and dismissed their claims on the grounds that the service providers' claims were barred because the insureds were precluded from recovery, as their underlying claims had been dismissed for discovery violations. For the reasons provided below, we affirm.

         I. BASIC FACTS

         On November 28, 2012, Kevin Dawoud, Rasha Kamel, and Mikho Essa ("plaintiffs") were allegedly involved in a motor vehicle accident. They applied for no-fault benefits through the Michigan Automobile Insurance Placement Facility. State Farm was assigned the claim, and plaintiffs filed a lawsuit seeking personal protection insurance ("PIP") benefits from State Farm. The service providers, who provided therapy and transportation services to plaintiffs, were allowed to intervene by stipulation of all parties to pursue direct payment of their bills by State Farm. Plaintiffs, who failed to comply with discovery orders and failed to attend three scheduled depositions, had their claims dismissed with prejudice.[2] Plaintiffs had no further involvement in this case and are not involved in this appeal.

         Thereafter, State Farm moved for summary disposition and argued that the dismissal of the underlying plaintiff's case operated as an adverse adjudication on the merits pursuant to MCR 2.504, which bars the service providers from proceeding with their derivative claims. The service providers argued that their claims should be allowed to proceed because Michigan law allows for such providers to bring a cause of action in their own name. Following a hearing, the trial court granted State Farm's motion. The service providers then filed a motion for reconsideration, which the court also denied.

         II. ANALYSIS

         On appeal, the service providers argue that the trial court erred when it granted State Farm's motion for summary disposition and dismissed the case. We disagree.

         Although the trial court did not specify the court rule it relied on when it granted State Farm's motion for summary disposition, MCR 2.116(C)(10) is the applicable rule. This Court reviews de novo a trial court's ruling on a motion for summary disposition. Marilyn Froling Revocable Living Trust v Bloomfield Hills Country Club, 283 Mich.App. 264, 279; 769 N.W.2d 234 (2009). A motion under this subrule is properly granted if there is no genuine issue with respect to any material fact and the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Id. at 278. All documentary evidence submitted by the parties is considered, and it is considered in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party. Id.

         The parties agree, or at least the service providers concede, that if the elements of an injured party's no-fault act claim fails substantively, based on the merits (for example, if the individual's injury is not the result of an automobile accident), any providers of services would have no claim against the insurer, because their claims are derivative. At issue here is whether the same principle applies when the injured party's no-fault claim "fails, " as it did here, due to the injured party's failure to attend depositions and otherwise comply with discovery orders and obligations.

         The service providers rely only on MCL 500.3112 and Wyoming Chiropractic Health Clinic, PC v Auto-Owners Ins Co, 308 Mich.App. 389; 864 N.W.2d 598 (2014), to support their argument that the lower court's decision should be reversed. MCL 500.3112 states as follows:

Personal protection insurance benefits are payable to or for the benefit of an injured person or, in case of his death, to or for the benefit of his dependents. Payment by an insurer in good faith of personal protection insurance benefits, to or for the benefit of a person who it believes is entitled to the benefits, discharges the insurer's liability to the extent of the payments unless the insurer has been notified in writing of the claim of some other person. If there is doubt about the proper person to receive the benefits or the proper apportionment among the persons entitled thereto, the insurer, the claimant or any other interested person may apply to the circuit court for an appropriate order. The court may designate the payees and make an equitable apportionment, taking into account the relationship of the payees to the injured person and other factors as the court considers appropriate. In the absence of a court order directing otherwise the insurer may pay:
(a) To the dependents of the injured person, the personal protection insurance benefits accrued before his death without ...

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.