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138805 - Calderon v Auto-Owners

Lori Calderon, as Guardian of Arthur Krumm, a Legally Incapacitated Person,
 
Patrick J. Bagley
 
Plaintiff/Counter-Defendant/Appellee,
 
and
 
 
Functional Recovery, Inc.,
 
L. Page Graves
 
Intervening Plaintiff/Appellee,
 
v
(Appeal from Ct of Appeals)
 
 
(Wayne – Murphy, J.)
 
Auto-Owners Insurance Company,
 
Michael L. Updike
 
Defendant/Counter-Plaintiff/Appellant.
 

Summary

​Arthur Krumm suffered a closed head injury in a car accident while visiting friends in North Carolina in 2003. Krumm did not have automobile insurance. Lori Calderon, Krumm’s sister and guardian, filed a claim on Krumm’s behalf for no-fault benefits with Auto-Owners Insurance Company. Auto-Owners was liable for benefits, Calderon argued, because Krumm was domiciled in Fife Lake, Michigan with his grandmother Beverly Krumm, who had a no-fault insurance policy with Auto-Owners. Auto-Owners initially paid no-fault benefits to Krumm, but stopped doing so after an investigation led Auto-Owners to conclude that Krumm’s main residence was not with his grandmother. Calderon then sued Auto-Owners, but the insurer filed a counter-claim seeking recovery of benefits it had already paid for Krumm. Functional Recovery, Inc. joined the suit against Auto-Owners, seeking to recover about $20,000 for occupational therapy, physical therapy, and speech therapy that Functional Recovery had provided to Krumm.

Auto-Owners filed a motion for summary disposition, arguing that Krumm was not domiciled with his grandmother in Michigan at the time of the accident. Auto-Owners relied on police reports involving Krumm that did not list his grandmother’s address, as well as bank account and public safety records. Auto-Owners also relied on testimony from Krumm’s wife about where she and Krumm lived during their marriage, and testimony from Krumm’s later girlfriend about where he lived. Calderon opposed the motion, arguing that there was a question of fact as to whether Krumm was domiciled in his grandmother’s household at the time of the accident. She relied on her own affidavit and deposition testimony, as well as the deposition testimony of other witnesses who testified that Krumm lived with his grandmother and considered her home to be his. Krumm’s grandmother testified that she and her husband legally adopted Krumm as a child, and that he was never away from her home for more than three weeks at a time. After considering this testimony, the trial court granted Auto-Owners’ motion and dismissed the case, concluding that no reasonable juror could find that Krumm was domiciled at his grandmother’s house. Auto-Owners dismissed its counter-claim, and the plaintiffs appealed to the Court of Appeals. In an unpublished per curiam opinion, the Court of Appeals reversed the trial court and remanded the case to the trial court for further proceedings. The Court of Appeals held that the plaintiffs raised a factual question regarding Krumm’s domicile at the time of the accident, and that summary disposition should not have been granted to Auto-Owners. Auto-Owners appeals.