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Old case isn't governed by current short statute of limitations, Supreme Court rules, does not apply insurance restrictions on consumer protection

Barbara Converse, the Conservator of car-accident injured Catherine Curtis, sued the Auto Club under the Michigan Consumer Protection Act, arguing that the insurer was guilty of deceptive practices in payment of No Fault PIP benefits on behalf of the severely head-injured Curtis. The alleged deceptive practices occurred both before and after the Republican majority in the state legislature amended the act so that consumers could not use the Act to pursue claims against insurance companies.

The Supreme Court unanimously overturned a Court of Appeals holding which incorrectly applied a "one year back" rule to the MCPA, when the Act allows a suit to be filed within six years of the deceptive practice.  Since Converse sued within one year of the last "deceptive" payment, her action was timely.  Unfortunately, her right to recover improperly denied payments lasts only through 2001, when insurers were granted special protection from consumers.  Justice Kelly concurred in the result, but repeated her objection to the Republican majority's application of the "one year back" rule to minor and incompetent persons.

Thompson O’Neil, P.C.
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Traverse City, Michigan 49684
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