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Bronson Hospital can pursue PIP action against HomeOwners Insurance Company

Bronson Hospital provided hospital care to one Robert Brown, a motorcyclist injured in a car accident.  Home Owners--a subsidiary of Auto Owners-- insured the car and was thus responsible for paying PIP benefits to Brown and his passenger (i.e., medical and limited wages and service expenses).  Brown apparently avoided Home Owners' attempts to serve papers on him, and ultimately the insurer sued him, served him process only by publication, defaulted him when he didn't appear, and then entered a judgment that he wasn't entitled to no fault PIP benefits.  When Bronson became aware of Home Owners' legal machinations, it sought to intervene in the suit and recover its medical expenses.

The lower court ruled that Bronson was bound by the default judgment against the biker and that it could not recover for the services it provided.  The Hospital appealed and the Court of Appeals reversed.  It noted that the issue had not actually been litigated in the case against Brown and that clearly Brown and Bronson had not cooperated in the management of the litigation; therefore Bronson wasn't bound by the result Home Owners had achieved by suing Brown.

Thompson O’Neil, P.C.
309 East Front Street
Traverse City, Michigan 49684
Toll Free: 1-800-678-1307
Fax: 231-929-7262