Circuit Court LC No. 14-004915-NF.
Before: Stephens, P.J., and Saad and Meter, JJ.
Citizens Insurance Company of America appeals three orders as
of right. They are orders granting summary disposition in
favor of defendants University Physician Group (UPG), Oakwood
Healthcare, Inc. (Oakwood), and Henry Ford Health System
(Henry Ford) pursuant to MCR 2.116(C)(7). We affirm.
August 2, 2009, William Sullivan was injured in an automobile
accident while driving an uninsured 1999 Ford F-150 truck
that was registered to Leonardo Terriquez-Bernal. Sullivan
applied for no-fault insurance benefits with the Michigan
Assigned Claims Facility and his claim was assigned to
plaintiff. Plaintiff then hired Data Surveys to investigate
whether Sullivan was entitled to no-fault benefits.
Plaintiff's investigator reported that Sullivan
participated in an unsworn interview and made unsworn written
statements in which he denied having any personal automobile
insurance and claimed to be an occasional permissive user of
the vehicle to which he had no keys. He further denied that
he and the vehicle's registered owner, Terriquez-Bernal,
had any specific agreements about this occasional use, that
the vehicle was never garaged at his home, and that he was
not responsible for any payments relative to the vehicle. On
November 24, 2009, plaintiff determined that Sullivan was
entitled to no-fault benefits and extended those benefits to
August 8, 2012, plaintiff filed a lawsuit against
Terriquez-Bernal for reimbursement. In response to
plaintiff's motion for summary disposition in that suit,
Terriquez-Bernal submitted an April 16, 2013 affidavit from
Sullivan, which stated:
2. I purchased the 1999 Ford F150 when it was new and was the
title owner until July, 2008, when I sold the vehicle to
Defendant Leonard Terriquez-Bernal ("Defendant")
for one dollar.
3. Essentially, I needed to have the vehicle title in
4. From July, 2008, until August 2, 2009, the date of the
accident, I used and possessed the 1999 Ford F150 white truck
as if I was the owner.
5. At the time of the accident, I did not have no fault
insurance on the 1999 Ford F150 white truck.
on July 12, 2013, plaintiff deposed Terriquez-Bernal. During
the deposition, Terriquez-Bernal stated that he transferred
the title and registration of the F-150 into his name as a
favor to Sullivan, apparently because Sullivan no longer had
a driver's license or the identification required to
register the vehicle. Terriquez-Bernal said that he was
Sullivan's next-door neighbor when this occurred, and
that after transferring the title and registration into his
name he never took possession of the vehicle, drove the
vehicle, or had the keys to the vehicle. Thus, according to
Sullivan's affidavit and Terriquez-Bernal's
deposition, Sullivan was the actual owner of the uninsured
vehicle involved in the accident.  He was therefore never
entitled to no-fault benefits.
April 15, 2014, plaintiff filed the instant suit against
Sullivan and four medical care providers who had treated
Sullivan for his accident-related injuries, seeking
reimbursement for payments made pursuant to its mistaken
belief that Sullivan was entitled to no-fault
benefits.Oakwood filed a motion for summary
disposition asserting that plaintiff's claims against it
were barred by the limitations period set forth in MCL
500.3175(3), which is applicable to actions to enforce rights
to indemnity or reimbursement against third parties. Henry
Ford filed an essentially identical motion. In response,
plaintiff asserted that the limitations period in MCL
500.3175(3) was inapplicable, that the six-year statute of
limitations set forth in MCL 600.5813 for "[a]ll other
personal actions" applied, and, thus, that the motions
should be denied. Plaintiff further asserted that it was
entitled to summary disposition under MCR 2.116(I)(2) and
2.116(C)(10) (no genuine issue of material fact).
conducting a hearing on the motions, the trial court granted
summary disposition for Oakwood and Henry Ford and dismissed
plaintiff's complaint against Oakwood and Henry Ford
pursuant to MCR 2.116(C)(7) (statute of limitations).
Thereafter, UPG filed a motion for summary disposition
asserting, as did Oakwood and Henry Ford, that
plaintiff's claim against it was barred by the limitation
period set forth in MCL ...