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Legal Updates


16
Sep

The Effects of COVID-19 on Appealing a Summary Judgment Ruling

Zausmer Shareholder Cameron Getto recently co-authored an article with Daniel Pollack for Law Practice Today, discussing the emerging effects of COVID-19 on summary judgments. Summary judgment allows parties involved in a lawsuit to obtain certain court rulings before trial regarding particular elem[...]
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9
Sep

Michigan Court of Appeals Warns Against Boilerplate Affirmative Defenses by Reinforcing the Need to Plead Fraud with Particularity

In a recent opinion released for publication, the Michigan Court of Appeals reversed a trial court’s decision granting an insurer’s motion for summary disposition because the insurer failed to plead fraud as an affirmative defense with adequate particularity. In Thomasina Glasker-Davis v Dama[...]
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6
Aug

Meemic v Fortson: Deny the Claim, Don’t Void the Policy

Much like political landscapes and the tides, the Michigan court system ebbs and flows. Over the last few months, the appellate courts have continued the shift against insurance carriers in cases involving fraudulent claims. This trend continued on July 29, 2020 with Meemic v Fortson, where the Mich[...]
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14
Jul

Fraud, Perjury, and Trial: Two New Michigan Published Opinions Make Fraudulent Insurance Claims More Likely to Proceed to Trial

Since 2014, Bahri v IDS Prop Casualty Ins Co has given insurance companies the ability to seek dismissal of fraudulent claims based on a claimant’s false deposition testimony. But two recent published Michigan Court of Appeals opinions now severely limit both Bahri and an alternate fraud defense t[...]
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28
Apr

Are Your COVID Losses Covered? Potential Insurance Coverage Issues for Businesses Impacted by COVID-19

Faced with mounting lost profits and escalating expenses related to COVID-19, including potential liability to third parties, business owners are turning to their insurance policies to cover these losses.  The following is intended as a roadmap of potential coverage issues related to COVID-19 in th[...]
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16
Mar

COVID-19 and Sick Leave

In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, Congress passed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act and the President signed it into law on March 18, 2020.  As part of the economic stimulus plan, the Act contains a number of provisions that may affect companies’ sick leave.  The Act applies to an[...]
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26
Feb

New Court Of Appeals Decision Tips Scales of Equity Against Insurers in Rescission Cases Involving Innocent Third Parties

Following the Michigan Supreme Court’s 2018 decision in Bazzi v Sentinel Ins Co, lower courts were given the vague mandate to “balance the equities” between innocent defrauded insurance companies and innocent injured third-party claimants when a policy is rescinded.  Some courts responded by [...]
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28
May

Michigan Court of Appeals Clarifies that Underwriting Guidelines are Not Part of the Insurance Contract

Danielle DePriest
In a recent unpublished opinion, the Michigan Court of Appeals affirmed summary disposition for an insurer, finding that the insurer was entitled to rescind an insurance policy based on the insured’s misrepresentation regarding her employment in the application for insurance. In Erica Kelley v [...]
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5
Apr

Michigan Court of Appeals Holds that No-Fault Priority Defenses are Not Waived if Absent from Initial Responsive Pleadings

In a recent unpublished decision, the Michigan Court of Appeals affirmed summary disposition for the defendant no-fault insurer. The Court examined three issues on appeal: (1) whether a no-fault priority defense is an affirmative defense that must be asserted in a responsive pleading; (2) whether th[...]
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31
Mar

Michigan Court of Appeals Holds that Trial Courts Lack Subject Matter Jurisdiction When Owners of Property Are Not Provided a Good Faith Written Offer Prior to Instituting a Condemnation Action

The Michigan Court of Appeals recently issued a published opinion in Board of County Road Commissioners for the County of Washtenaw v Shankle, which will significantly impact utilities in Michigan, increasing both the cost of acquiring property rights and the risk of owners successfully challenging [...]
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