United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
OPINION AND ORDER DENYING DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR
SUMMARY JUDGMENT [#12]
GERSHWIN A. DRAIN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
before the Court is the Defendant/Counter-Plaintiff Gore
Mutual Insurance Company's Motion for Summary Judgment,
filed on May 6, 2019. Plaintiff/Counter-Defendant James
Montgomery filed a Response on June 9, 2019. Gore Mutual filed
a Reply on June 20, 2019. The parties have also filed
supplemental briefs. A hearing on this matter was held on
August 16, 2019. For the reasons that follow, the Court will
deny Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment.
instant action stems from an automobile accident occurring in
Flint, Michigan on January 16, 2008. Montgomery, a Michigan
resident, was the front seat passenger of a 1992 Pontiac van
operated by Faith Hurst of Windsor, Ontario and insured by
Gore Mutual. Plaintiff suffered serious injuries, including
neck, back and traumatic brain injury, vestibular
dysfunction, depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress
did not own a vehicle with insurance on the date of the
accident, therefore he made a claim through Hurst's
policy. Gore Mutual has filed a written certification with
the State of Michigan that all auto insurance policies that
it sold would be subject to the Michigan No-Fault Act. Gore
Mutual gave Montgomery the option of selecting Michigan or
Ontario coverage. On March 4, 2008, Montgomery selected
Michigan coverage under the No-Fault Act.
Mutual stopped making benefits payments on January 30, 2018.
As of that date, Gore Mutual had paid a total of $984, 776.91
in benefits to or on behalf of Montgomery. Montgomery filed
the instant action on January 14, 2019 seeking to recover PIP
benefits incurred after January 30, 2018.
LAW & ANALYSIS
Standard of Review
Rule of Civil Procedure 56(a) “directs that summary
judgment shall be granted if there is no genuine issue as to
any material fact and that the moving party is entitled to a
judgment as a matter of law.” Cehrs v. Ne. Ohio
Alzheimer's Research Ctr., 155 F.3d 775, 779 (6th
Cir. 1998) (quotations omitted). The court must view the
facts, and draw reasonable inferences from those facts, in
the light most favorable to the non-moving party.
Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 255,
106 S.Ct. 2505, 91 L.Ed.2d 202 (1986). No. genuine dispute of
material fact exists where the record “taken as a whole
could not lead a rational trier of fact to find for the
non-moving party.” Matsushita Elec. Indus., Co. v.
Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 587, 106 S.Ct. 1348,
89 L.Ed.2d 538 (1986). Ultimately, the court evaluates
“whether the evidence presents a sufficient
disagreement to require submission to a jury or whether it is
so one-sided that one party must prevail as a matter of
law.” Anderson, 477 U.S. at 251-52, 106 S.Ct.
Mich. Comp. Laws § 500.3163
argues that an out-of-state insurer is only liable for up to
$500, 000.00 in personal and property protection (PIP)
benefits for accidental bodily injury arising out of an
accident involving the out-of-state insurer's nonresident
insured under Mich. Comp. Laws § 500.3163(4). Plaintiff
counters that the statutory cap set forth in subsection (4)
applies only to nonresident claimants, not Michigan
residents. Therefore, because Plaintiff is a Michigan
resident, the statutory cap set forth in Mich. Comp. Laws
§ 500.3163(4) is inapplicable to Plaintiff's claim
for PIP benefits.
primary goal of statutory interpretation is to ascertain and
give effect to the intent of the Legislature in enacting a
provision. Douglas v. Allstate Ins. Co., 492 Mich.
241, 255-56; 821 N.W.2d 472 (2012). “The first
criterion in determining intent is the language of the
statute.” Tevis v. Amex. Assur. Co., 283
Mich.App. 76, 81; 770 N.W.2d 16 (Mich. Ct. App. 2009).
“If the statutory language is clear and unambiguous,
judicial construction is neither required nor permitted, and
courts must apply the statute as written.” Id.
If reasonable minds could disagree as to the meaning of the
statute, “judicial construction is appropriate.”
Id. It is only appropriate for the court to look to
other factors to determine intent when the statutory language
is ambiguous. Id. “A liberal construction in
favor of the public and the policyholders is preferred when
the statute involved is an insurance law.” Id.
maintains that the plain language of the statute, Michigan
case law, and the legislative history of subsection (4)
compels the conclusion that an out-of-state insurer is only
liable for the amount of ultimate loss sustained ...