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First Party No-Fault
Motor Vehicle Litigation / May 15, 2017
Court/Case No: Oakland County Circuit Court/2016-155294-NF
Tried/Argued Before: Judge
Name of Judge(s): Honorable Hala Jarbou
Keys to the Case:
Plaintiff, Michigan Spine and Pain filed suit in Oakland County Circuit Court alleging outstanding medical bills on behalf of the underlying claimant in the amount of $96,236.00. Plaintiff claimed entitlement to No-Fault benefits alleging that the underlying claimant was a resident relative of Progressive’s named insured in West Bloomfield, Michigan. Subsequently, the underlying claimant filed her own first party No-Fault case in Wayne County Circuit Court. In her complaint, she admitted that she was a resident of Wayne County at the time of loss. Defendant then proceeded with a Motion for Summary Disposition based on: (1) Plaintiff failed to provide any independent verification of loss and thus failed to prove the fact of the loss as required by Michigan No-Fault; (2) Plaintiff was judicially estopped from the position that she was a resident relative of Progressive insured in West Bloomfield, as the underlying claimant admitted that she was a resident of Wayne County at the time of loss.
Following oral argument, Judge Hala Jarbou granted Defendant’s motion based on judicial estoppel. In so holding, the court reasoned “[j]udicial admissions are formal concessions in the pleadings in the case or stipulations by a party or its counsel that have the effect of withdrawing a fact from issue and dispensing wholly with the need for proof of the fact.” Hilgendorf v St John Hosp & Med Ctr Corp, 245 Mich App 670, 689 (2001). A judicial admission is considered conclusive and is not subject to contradiction or explanation. 245 Mich App at 689-90. “Judicial estoppel precludes a party from adopting a legal position in conflict with a position taken earlier in the same or related litigation. The doctrine protects the integrity of the judicial and administrative processes.” Wells Fargo Bank, NA v Null, 304 Mich App 508, 537 (2014).
Plaintiff then filed a motion for reconsideration, which was denied by the court.
Defense SW attorney(s) Involved in Case: