Health care provider allowed to file late answers to Auto Club requests for admission
When Communicare MI sued the ACIA for $400,000.00 in services, the Auto Club served requests for admission arguing that it was not the highest-priority insurer. The Plaintiff failed to respond within the 28 day limit and the ACIA sought summary disposition. The plaintiff asked the Court for permission to file late answers, but the trial judge rejected that request and granted summary disposition to the Auto Club. The plaintiff appealed.
The Court of Appeals ruled that it was an abuse of discretion for the trial judge to refuse to allow the late answers. It noted that trial was six months away, ACIA had suffered no prejudice from the filing of late answers and that to uphold the requests would entirely wipe out the claim. On that basis, the trial judge was over-ruled, the late answers were accepted, and the summary disposition was reversed.