Kent County summary disposition against State Farm is upheld in part
The family of Sharon Raterink sued State Farm to recover PIP benefits arising out of the care of their accident-injured mother. The trial court granted them summary disposition and also awarded case evaluation sanctions because State Farm did not improve its position in comparison to the recommended settlement. The benefits which State Farm claimed were "unrelated" pertained to institutional treatment afforded Sharon after a heart attack; her family acknowledged that her heart attack was not related to the accident, but pointed out that with two fractured ankles, she could not care for herself independently after the heart attack. The Court of Appeals concluded that "reasonable minds could differ" with regard to this claimand sent the action back to the lower court for trial on the merits.With respect to post-collision treatment for diabetic complications arising out of her injury, the Court of Appeals upheld the summary disposition, since there was no medical evidence to contradict the family's claim of accident-relatedness. The higher court also upheld the denial of attorneys' fees, since it deemed the insurer's defense was not "unreasonable."