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Insurer's subrogation action dismissed where it presents no evidence confirming causation

MEEMIC Insurance Company sued DTE Engery and MichCon after it paid claims arising from a housefire.  MEEMIC's insured testified that he heard a hissing sound behind his home and found the rear wall--near the gas meter--engulfed in flames.  MEEMIC argued that the fire resulted from a defect in the meter, however,  the expert whom it retained to testify could confirm only that the meter "could not be eliminated" as a cause of the fire. 

The utilities proffered testimony of an expert who claimed that since there was more extensive damage several feet away from the meter, it was probably NOT a cause of the fire.  The trial court dismissed the subrogation claim, holding that even if the insurer's expert's testimony was accepted, it did not prove that the meter was "more probably than not" a cause of the fire:  the meter was simple one of the possible causes.  Therefore, the fact-finder would be required to speculate improperly about causation in order to find in favor of the plaintiff, and the case must be dismissed.
Thompson O’Neil, P.C.
309 East Front Street
Traverse City, Michigan 49684
Toll Free: 1-800-678-1307
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