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Motor Vehicle Litigation / July 12, 2020
Court/Case No: Macomb County Circuit Court /19-4447-NF
Tried/Argued Before: Judge
Verdict: $0 – Motion for Summary Disposition granted
Name of Judge(s): Honorable Edward A. Servitto
Keys to the Case:
The cause of action was brought by a passenger of a motor vehicle attempting to recover no-fault and uninsured/underinsured benefits from Defendant, stemming from a motor vehicle accident.The Plaintiff’s alleged basis of recovery was under Defendant’s policy issued to a different named insured.
Defendant, through the normal course of discovery, sent repeated discovery requests and scheduled depositions of Plaintiff. Plaintiff failed to respond to Defendant’s discovery requests. When it became apparent that Plaintiff did not want to engage in discovery of its own case, Defendant filed a motion to compel Plaintiff to produce responses to Defendant’s discovery. At the hearing, Hon. Judge Servitto granted Defendant’s Motion to Compel and ordered the Plaintiff to produce said responses in fourteen (14) days from the hearing. Plaintiff once again failed to produce said responses and left Defendant with great prejudice in the case. This prejudice necessitated Defendant to file a Motion to Dismiss for Violation of a Court Order. In the Motion, the Defendant outlined a timeline to the court of Plaintiff’s unwillingness to engage in discovery in its own case. Defendant then argued to the court that the Plaintiff’s unwillingness to engage in discovery is a result of Plaintiff’s inability to substantiate its claim with objective evidence.
Plaintiff continually failed to provide discovery responses, even though the Court Order explicitly stated that Plaintiff is required to send Defendant said responses. Second, Plaintiff willfully failed to provide initial disclosures even though they were required by MCR 2.302(A). Lastly, Defendant was unable to properly depose Plaintiff due to repeated failure to participate and comply with discovery. Defendant maintained that this demonstrates that Plaintiff has no desire to comply with the Court Order or the Michigan Court Rules and is deliberately delaying Defendant from obtaining any information related to the Plaintiff and the subject accident. As a result of Plaintiff’s refusal to engage in discovery, Hon. Judge Servitto granted Defendant’s Motion and dismissed the case. Due to Defendant’s due diligence and persistence throughout discovery, it was able to dismiss the no-fault and UM/UIM claims in their entirety, with prejudice, and additionally receive costs paid.
 It’s important to note that the Plaintiff was not listed as a either a driver or passenger within the traffic incident report. This is important because Defendant, in its brief, argued to the court that the reason Plaintiff is not engaging in discovery is because this entire claim is fraudulent.
Defense SW attorney(s) Involved in Case: