Wage loss claim for temporarily unemployed worker is dismissed
In a decision that basically reads section 3107a out of the Michigan No Fault scheme, the three appellate judges in Artrip v. HBIC Enterprises, Inc., concluded that the statute doesn't mean what it says: a temporarily unemployed worker cannot collect wage loss based on his last month of full-time employment. The judges in Artrip held the injury victim could not demonstrate that he "would have earned income" at his prior level after the date of his injury, because his employer went out of business 54 days prior to his motor vehicle collision [thus rendering him "temporarily unemployed" for 54 days at the time of his injury].
The court went on to hold that the victim might be able to prove a loss of income smaller than he had earned at his previous position, given that he had eventually returned to the work force and had actually turned down one job because it did not pay as much as his previous position. Apparently during his disability period, however, he needed to apply for work that he could no longer perform, in order to prove that there was work that he could have secured if he had been physically able to work: the precise conundrum that section 3107a was enacted to address.