United States District Court, W.D. Michigan, Southern Division
Paul L. Maloney, Judge
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
KENT, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
matter is now before the Court on plaintiff's amended
motion to request hearing to approve settlement and
distribution of settlement proceeds (ECF No. 57). For the
reasons discussed below, the amended motion should be granted
in part and denied in part.
case involves the alleged wrongful death of a child. In her
complaint, plaintiff, the personal representative of the
decedent, “claims all elements of damages permitted
under the Michigan Wrongful Death Act, Michigan statutory
law, Federal law, and the common law, whether known now or
whether becoming known during the pendency of this
case.” Compl. (ECF No. 1, PageID.17). Plaintiff has
filed a companion state court case in Berrien County,
Michigan. At some point in time, plaintiff reached a
settlement with defendants in this case. Consistent with the
allegations, plaintiff's amended motion seeks Court
approval of the settlement pursuant to Michigan's
Wrongful Death Statute, M.C.L. § 600.2922(6)(a). In her
amended motion, plaintiff requested approval to settle this
case for $75, 000.00, for the apparent purpose of funding the
state court litigation:
Plaintiff also requests that this Honorable Court grant this
amended motion and set the matter for hearing at which time
the parties will request this Court's approval of the
settlement as set forth below:
1. Payment of $44, 513.56 to McKeen & Associates, P.C.
for reimbursement of costs. (Exhibit #1), LEAVING A BALANCE
OF $30, 486.44.
2. Payment of $7, 621.61 to McKeen & Associates, P.C. for
1/4 attorney fee pursuant to the contingency fee agreement.
3. Reservation in trust of $5, 000 for any future costs
associated with the continuation of the Berrien Circuit Court
(Case no. 15-0238-NH).
4. Payment of $17, 864.83 to the Estate, to be distributed
pursuant to the Personal Representative's proposal.
Motion at PageID.354.
initial matter, the amended motion did not include a personal
representative's proposal, identify any interested
parties to the proposed distribution, or address the
statutory distribution scheme for the proceeds of a
settlement as set forth under M.C.L. § 600.2922(6)(d),
which provides in pertinent part:
After a hearing by the court, the court shall order payment
from the proceeds of the reasonable medical, hospital,
funeral, and burial expenses of the decedent for which the
estate is liable. The proceeds shall not be applied to the
payment of any other charges against the estate of the
decedent. The court shall then enter an order distributing
the proceeds to those persons designated in subsection (3)
[M.C.L. § 600.2922(3)] who suffered damages and to the
estate of the deceased for compensation for conscious pain
and suffering, if any, in the amount as the court ...