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140301 - Bronson Methodist Hosp v Allstate

Bronson Methodist Hospital,
 
Richard E. Hillary, II
 
Plaintiff-Appellant,
 
v
(Appeal from Ct of Appeals)
 
 
(Kalamazoo – Johnson, J.)
 
Allstate Insurance Company,
 
P. Kelly O’Dea
 
Defendant-Appellee.
 

Summary

​Lemuel Brown was injured in a single vehicle accident while driving a borrowed, uninsured motor vehicle on December 30, 2006. He was treated at Bronson Methodist Hospital between December 30, 2006, and January 5, 2007; the charges totaled $37,465.01.

Bronson determined that Brown did not have any available no-fault insurance coverage, so the hospital filed a claim with the Michigan Assigned Claims Facility on December 14, 2007, a little more than two weeks before expiration of the one-year application deadline prescribed by MCL 500.3145 and MCL 500.3174. The Assigned Claims Facility assigned the claim to Allstate Insurance Company on January 7, 2008, more than a year after Bronson’s last date of service. Bronson received notice that Allstate was the servicing insurer on January 15, 2008, and requested payment from Allstate, which declined, relying on the one-year back rule of MCL 500.3145. That statute states, in part, that: “(1) An action for recovery of personal protection insurance benefits payable under this chapter for accidental bodily injury may not be commenced later than 1 year after the date of the accident causing the injury unless written notice of injury as provided herein has been given to the insurer within 1 year after the accident or unless the insurer has previously made a payment of personal protection insurance benefits for the injury. If the notice has been given or a payment has been made, the action may be commenced at any time within 1 year after the most recent allowable expense, work loss or survivor’s loss has been incurred. However, the claimant may not recover benefits for any portion of the loss incurred more than 1 year before the date on which the action was commenced.” Bronson sued Allstate on February 6, 2008. Allstate moved for summary disposition, relying on the one-year back rule. The trial court granted Allstate’s motion and dismissed the hospital’s claim.

Bronson appealed, but in a published opinion, the Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court’s ruling. MCL 500.3145(1)’s one-year-back rule precluded Bronson’s recovery, the appellate panel said. Bronson appeals.