Court rules jury must decide PIP responsibility, if any, after appeal by two insurers
Tyronne Meyers was struck by a truck and suffered "severe head trauma, multiple broken bones, and numerous other injuries" according to the Court of Appeals. He had purchased no fault coverage on his vehicle from Titan Insurance, which would normally make Titan responsible for his medical and wage expenses. Titan argued, however, that it learned after the incident that Meyers' operators' license had been suspended prior to the incident for failure to pay a fee, and therefore he had fraudulently obtained coverage. Titan argued that since Meyers made a material misrepresentation in applying for coverage, by denying that his license was suspended, it could legally void his coverage.
While the case was pending, Meyers also applied to the Assigned Claims Plan for PIP benefits and Farmers Insurance Company was assigned to cover eligible expenses. Farmers was joined in the lawsuit, and both insurers argued that the other owed Meyers' PIP benefits. They also argued that Meyers had attempted to commit suicide, and therefore no PIP benefits should be payable.The lower court judge ultimately held that Titan should be responsible for PIP benefits after a certain date, and that Farmers should owe benefits due prior to that date. The higher court reversed and sent the case back for trial by the jury. The appeals judges ruled that there were genuine issues of fact regarding whether Meyers knew his license had been suspended for non-payment of the fee, whether he was even involved in a misrepresentation since an agent completed his application for coverage, and also whether he intentionally suffered his injuries by jumping in front of the truck. It also ruled that since Titan does not normally check insureds' driving records until after an incident, a fact issue existed with regard to wehther it had "relied upon" any misrepresentation in Meyers' application when it issued coverage.