No fault PIP application is adequate notice of victim's injury and potential third-party claim
Vivian Atkins was injured when two Suburban Mobility Authority for Regional Transportation (aka "SMART" buses) collided in Wayne County. She filed an Application for no fault PIP benefits promptly, and later filed a lawsuit alleging a more serious "third-party" injury meeting the "serious impairment" threshold. Her claim was dismissed on the theory that she had provide only "notice of her injury" and not "notice of her claim" within 60 days. The Court cited the controversial "Engler Gang of Four" Rowland v. Washtenaw County Road Commission decision, for its holding that the SMART defendant need not show that it was prejudiced by any defect in Atkins' Notice.
The Court of Appeals rejected this analysis and returned the case to the lower court for further development. It noted that the Defendant had timely notice of a collision involving two of its buses, and Defendant also had a complete application for wage loss, medical expenses and domestic services that was accompanied by Atkins' execution of medical and employment authorizations, waiving her privacy rights. Thus, the Defendant had complete written disclosure and knowledge of the incident, Defendant's alleged fault, the victim's injuries and her treatment: nothing in the statute would require more.