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Motor Vehicle Litigation

Motor Vehicle Litigation / January 24, 2013

Court/Case No: Lapeer CountyCircuit Court/Case No. 11-044303-CK

Tried/Argued Before: Judge

Demand: $157,992 by Home Owners against Farm Bureau and $50,000 by Farm Bureau against Home Owners

Verdict: $157,992 in favor of Home Owners Insurance Company

Name of Judge(s): Nick Holowka

Keys to the Case:

Home Owners Insurance Company insured Ronald and Cathy Burtt under an automobile insurance policy carrying PIP coverage.  Their resident relative son, Ronald K. Burtt, was driving a dump truck for TBC Trucking when he was involved in an accident.  Farm Bureau Insurance Company insured the dump truck, but claimed that Mr. Burtt was an independent contractor and not an employee of TBC Trucking, so the payment of personal insurance protection (PIP) benefits should be paid by the personal automobile policy of Home Owners.

Home Owners Insurance Company filed suit against Farm Bureau, alleging that Farm Bureau was higher in the order of priority and for recoupment of the approximately $157,992 paid for Mr. Burtt’s PIP benefits. Farm Bureau filed a counterclaim against Home Owners alleging Home Owners was in the higher order of priority for payment of Ronald K. Burtt’s PIP benefits and for recoupment of the approximately $50,000 paid for Mr. Burtt’s PIP benefits.

This matter went to a bench trial, and the Judge found in favor of Home Owners Insurance Company that Mr. Burtt was an employee of TBC Trucking; therefore, the PIP benefits were payable by Farm Bureau.

Defense SW attorney(s) Involved in Case:


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