United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
R. GRAND MAGISTRATE JUDGE
OPINION AND ORDER GRANTING IN PART AND DENYING IN
PART DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT
J. MICHELSON U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE
Kenosha-Chari Farley was in a car accident in April 2016 that
resulted in back injuries. Farley brought suit against the
driver who hit her as well as her insurance company, Integon
National Insurance Company, for refusing to fully reimburse
her for related medical expenses. Farley has since settled
with the driver. (R. 29.) Integon now seeks summary judgment,
contending that the remaining benefits being sought are not
reimbursable chiropractic services. The matter is fully
briefed, (R. 34; 35), and the Court heard argument on June
21, 2018. For the following reasons, the Court grants in part
and denies in part Integon's motion.
April 22, 2016 Farley was driving on Interstate Highway 75
when another driver drifted into her lane, striking the rear
passenger side of Farley's car. (PageID.11.) Farley
sustained injuries to her back, for which she received a
variety of chiropractic services. (PageID.451.)
sued both the driver and her insurance company, Integon,
seeking to recover personal injury protection (PIP) benefits.
Against Integon, she seeks compensation for her medical
expenses, lost income, travel expenses for medical care,
attendant care, and expenses to cover services she would have
performed for herself or her dependents. (PageID.14.) Integon
paid over $15, 000 for medical expenses, (R. 27-2), but
refused to pay for three chiropractic services: mechanical
traction, the application of hot and cold packs, and
extraspinal manipulation. (PageID.366.)
now moves for summary judgment asserting that the three
contested medical expenses are not reimbursable as a matter
of law. It also asks the Court to deem her requests to admit
admitted (thereby eliminating Farley's remaining damages
claims) and to rescind her policy because of material
misrepresentations. (R. 27.)
judgment is proper “if the movant shows that there is
no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is
entitled to judgment as a matter of law.” Fed.R.Civ.P.
56(a). The moving party may discharge its initial summary
judgment burden by “pointing out to the district court
. . . that there is an absence of evidence to support the
nonmoving party's case.” Celotex Corp. v.
Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 325 (1986). If the moving party
does so, the party opposing the motion “must come
forward with specific facts showing that there is a genuine
issue for trial.” Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v.
Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 587 (1986). A fact is
material only if it might affect the outcome of the case
under the governing law. See Anderson v. Liberty Lobby,
Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 249 (1986). On a motion for summary
judgment, the court must view the evidence, and any
reasonable inferences drawn from the evidence, in the light
most favorable to Farley. See Matsushita, 475 U.S.
at 587 (citations omitted); Redding v. St. Edward,
241 F.3d 530, 531 (6th Cir. 2001).
argues that Michigan PIP law does not require reimbursement
for Farley's mechanical traction, hot- and cold-pack
application, or extraspinal manipulation treatments.
decide whether Integon is correct, the Court must determine
the permissible scope of PIP coverage. Generally, PIP covers
“reasonable charges incurred for reasonably necessary
products, services and accommodations for an injured
person's care, recovery, or rehabilitation.” Mich.
Comp. Laws. § 500.3107 (2013). But in Michigan Compiled
Laws § 500.3107b, the legislature created a separate
section of excludable expenses. One of those excluded
expenses is for chiropractic services, “unless the
service was included in the definition of practice of
chiropractic under . . . MCL 333.16401, as of January 1,
2009.” Id.; see also Measel v. Auto
Club Grp. Ins. Co., 886 N.W.2d 193, 197 (Mich.
Ct. App. 2016). The definition of the “practice of
chiropractic” as of January 1, 2009 was the version of
Michigan Compiled Laws § 333.16401 last amended in 2002.
That definition is as follows:
‘Practice of chiropractic' means that discipline
within the healing arts which deals with the human nervous
system and its relationship to the spinal column and its
interrelationship with other body systems. Practice of
chiropractic includes the following:
(i) Diagnosis, including spinal analysis, to
determine the existence of spinal subluxations or
misalignments that produce nerve interference, indicating the