Woman's sloppy and inconsistent claim for domestic services results in dismissal of PIP claims
IDS Property Casualty Insurance Company avoided paying the medical bills of the Plaintiff after it identified inconsistencies and shoddy record-keeping in her claim for replacement domestic services. A No Fault PIP insurer must pay up to $20.00 per day (maximum--never increased since 1974), on an hourly basis, if a person injured in a motor vehicle collision requires help around the house. No matter how badly hurt the person is, and no matter how extensive his or her duties were in the household, the victim and the family are limited to a maximum of $20.00 per day for three years.
The at-fault and his insurer owe no additional domestic services assistance to supplement this paltry payment, since the Republican Michigan Supreme Court majority recently reversed precedent and held that the right to collect excess economic losses does not include any claim for domestic services. Through sloppy record-keeping, the plaintiff in the instant case filed the necessary claim for services seeking payment for twenty days before the wreck occurred, and including days when surveillance suggested that she was able to driver herself to appointments and shopping.
Relying on the latter facts and on the fact that surveillance showed the woman was able to pick up a "large bucket of liquid" in her yard, the trial judge granted the insurance company summary disposition as to all PIP benefits, finding her guilty of "fraud." Given that the entire claim was based on a motor vehicle collision of a particular date that was documented by her to the insurer, this case appears to be more a case of inattention to detail, rather than a case of fraud. Nevertheless, the woman's shoddy paper work has created an enormous windfall for her insurer.