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Trial lawyers specializing in personal injury and civil litigation

PIP case filed, moved, dismissed in attempt to resolve, re-filed and dismissed as sanction for error in venue

Marc Doyle was hurt in a 2007 car accident.  He was insured by State Farm. A dispute developed over his PIP benefits (medical expenses and minimum wages and services), and Doyle filed suit.  Venue was changed from Wayne to Oakland County at State Farm's request.  On the trial date, the parties agreed to dismiss the claim and attempt alternative dispute resolution. They agreed that it could be re-filed up until May 7, 2011.

When the latter attempt at mediation was unsuccessful, Doyle filed suit again on May 6--the last possible day.  Unfortunately, his attorney filed the case in Wayne County, again pressing the argument that Wayne should be the proper venue (or maybe he acted in haste when the deadline was recognized and he couldn't get the case filed in Oakland).  In any event, the trial court was not impressed.  The judge was so offended by a repeated attempt to place venue in Wayne County, after it had been moved to Oakland in the prior case, that the case was dismissed as a sanction.

The court also imposed a $1500.00 sanction against Doyle's attorney.  Frankly, that latter assessment seems appropriate.  It does not seem appropriate, however, that State Farm's duty to pay PIP benefits to its insured should be wiped out by the lawyer's poor choice in starting the second lawsuit in the wrong courthouse.

Thompson O’Neil, P.C.
309 East Front Street
Traverse City, Michigan 49684
Toll Free: 1-800-678-1307
Fax: 231-929-7262