Supreme Court reverses lower court decision; allows State Farm to claim fraud
Raymond Andres was horribly injured in a car accident and now requires 24 hour attendant care. State Farm was his auto (PIP) insurer and has been obligated to pay for this care. State Farm initially entered into an agreement to pay Andres' family for the care provided, but later refused to pay, alleging that the agreement had been fraudulently arrived at by some form of collusion between Andres' attorney and State Farm's adjuster.
When Andres' guardian sued to fulfill the agreement, State Farm included a cursory affirmative defense suggesting simply that the agreement was "fraudulent or so excessive" as to be unreasonable. Because State Farm did not state the fraud claim "with particularity" as required under the court rules, the lower courts had deemed the fraud defense waived and enforced the original agreement. This week, the Supreme Court refused to enforce the "particularity" provision of the Michigan Court Rules and sent Andres' case back to the Court of Appeals to address the fraud claim.