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Court holds law firm has no standing to contest coverage terms in policy

The Meisner Law Group attempted to seek a Declaratory Judgment from the Court in its litigation with a former client.  The lawyers had been fired midway through a piece of litigation that ultimately generated a recovery of about a million dollars.  When they sued the former client for damages, the client, Island Lake North Bay Association, was defended by its commercial liability insurer under a reservation of rights.  The lawyers sought court intervention, as they wanted to determine whether there would be an insurance policy available, if they prevailed, to satisfy their damage claim.

The higher court ruled that the lawyers' interest in collecting their potential judgment was not sufficient to provide them standing in a dispute over whether the insurance policy actually provided liability coverage.  In recent years, the Republican Supreme Court majority has strictly limited who has "standing to sue" and who can attempt to enforce--or force interpretation of--an insurance policy.  For example, a "slip and fall" victim can no longer force an insurer to pay its medical co-pay coverage (usually about $5,000.00, payable without regard to "fault.")  Only the property owner has "standing" to enforce the medical co-pay coverage.

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