Court of Appeals holds that lower court erred by enforcing its limitation on when an insurer may bring a motion for summary disposition
The Washtenaw Circuit Court, as do most Circuit Courts, issues a Pre-trial Scheduling Order that controls the time within which the parties to litigation must take certain steps. A no fault head injury care provider, Healing Place, Ltd., sued State Farm to force it to pay for Personal Injury Protection benefits provided to State Farm's insured, Gene Raymond. State Farm sought summary disposition, arguing that the plaintiff was not adequately licensed to bill for the services it provided to Raymond.The trial court refused summary disposition and the case was delayed by agreement of all parties and the court, pending the outcome of a related case. Approximately one month before trial, and several months after the deadline for filing summary disposition motions, the insurer again sought leave to file a motion to dismiss without trial. The Court rejected the motion, holding that it was not timely. The Court of Appeals overturned the lower court's decision, ruling that it should have "bent" its rules to hear the insurer's motion. It ruled that the timeline of the related case justified delay by State Farm and that the health care provided suffered no prejudice as a result of the delay.