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Collins Einhorn Farrell PC is pleased to announce that 16 of its attorneys have been named to the 2019 edition of Best Lawyers in America©. Additionally, Deborah Lujan has been named the Best Lawyers 2019 Litigation – Insurance “Lawyer of the Year” in Michigan due to her exemplary work in defense litigation. For the full list of attorneys selected for this prestigious award, click on the headline.

Attorney Matthew S. LaBeau obtained summary disposition on behalf of a spindle manufacturing company in a product liability case. To read the full outcome of the case, click on the headline.

Attorneys Brian D. Einhorn and Karen R. Geibel obtained summary disposition for their client in a legal-malpractice case. Brian and Karen successfully argued that the plaintiff’s claims were invalid because their client’s statements—the basis for the plaintiff’s malicious-prosecution claim—were made in a judicial proceeding and therefore absolutely privileged. They also argued that the plaintiff couldn’t pursue a legal-malpractice claim at all because there was no attorney-client relationship between the plaintiff and the defendant. The Wayne County Circuit Court agreed, dismissing all claims against Brian and Karen’s client.

Attorney Matthew S. LaBeau has published an article in the Journal of Insurance and Indemnity Law entitled “Consider Removing Your Next PIP Case to Federal Court.” The article explores the procedural and strategic considerations involved in seeking a removal of a claim for first-party no-fault benefits. For more information, click on the headline.

It’s a long-standing principle that no-fault insurers can assert common-law defenses, such as fraud in the application, in order to obtain rescission of a policy and avoid liability for payment of benefits on a claim. If a policy is rescinded, it’s as if the policy was never issued in the first place.

The innocent-third-party rule was a judicially created exception to this principle. Under the rule, insurers couldn’t use the defense of fraud in the application against a third party (that is, someone other than the policyholder) making a claim under a policy. The reasoning was that, because the third-party claimant didn’t commit the fraud, it was unfair for insurance companies to rescind the policy based on fraud.

We take a look at the recent Michigan Supreme Court decision in Bazzi v Sentinel Ins Co, and what this means for insurance companies moving forward. Click the headline for further details.

Collins Einhorn Farrell attorneys Colleen H. Burke, Brian D. Einhorn, and Peter J. Tomasek successfully defended their clients in a legal-malpractice case. The case stemmed from a personal-injury accident at the plaintiff’s apartment complex. Brian, Colleen, and Peter obtained summary disposition for the defendants by successfully arguing that, based on the plaintiff’s original complaint, the plaintiff couldn’t show that the defendants caused her alleged damages. The plaintiff subsequently filed a motion to amend her complaint. But Brian, Colleen, and Peter argued that the proposed amendments did not revive the claims. The Court agreed with the Collins Einhorn attorneys and dismissed all claims against their clients.

After a 3-day jury trial, attorneys MaryRachel Dysarz and Lauren Frederick obtained a no cause of action in a first-party no-fault provider case. Vision Specialists of Michigan claimed that the defendant-insurer wrongfully refused to pay no-fault benefits incurred on behalf of the allegedly brain-injured claimant. For full details, click the headline.

Attorneys Richard A. Joslin and Lindsey A. Peck obtained summary disposition on behalf of a shopping mall owner in a serious personal injury case. The plaintiff was injured when an out-of-control car crashed into a mall store. In addition to suing the driver of the car, the plaintiff sued the store operator, the mall owner and the owner of a neighboring mall which shared the parking lot where the accident occurred. In granting summary disposition to the owner of the neighboring mall, the court held that the neighboring mall owed no duty to the plaintiff and that no duty arose from the easement agreement between the mall owner and its neighbor.

Attorney Scott J. Pawlak obtained summary disposition on behalf of a no-fault insurer for charges for chiropractor-referred MRIs. The Court agreed with the insurer that, because Michigan’s No-Fault Act did not include MRIs within the scope of “chiropractic care” as of January 1, 2009, no-fault insurers are not required to reimburse for MRIs that have been ordered by a chiropractor. The Court further noted that, because the performance or ordering of an MRI is beyond the scope of chiropractic care, there was no way that such testing could be deemed a “reasonably necessary service.”

Collins Einhorn attorneys Theresa M. Asoklis, Michael J. Cook, and Jonathan B. Koch successfully defended a legal-malpractice action against a lawyer-guardian ad litem with a statutory-immunity defense. For full details, click on the headline.