As I had predicted in earlier posts (see below), and suggested in my amicus curiae brief to the Supreme Court in Hannay v. MDOT, Supreme Court Docket No. 146763, yesterday, the Michigan Supreme Court issued an order granting reconsideration of the application filed in Hunter v. Sisco, Supreme Court No. 147335, ordering the parties to address whether non-economic tort damages can be awarded against the government under the motor vehicle exception to governmental immunity(Hunter.Grant.Reconsideration.Order).
The Court simultaneously adjourned oral argument in Hannay to place both cases on the oral argument calendar together. (Hannay.Adjournment.Order).
The Governmental Tort Liability Act (GTLA) allows a claimant to recover for “bodily injury” and “property” damages, only, for injuries received as the result of the negligent operation of a government-owned motor vehicle. The No-Fault Act allows a motorist injured in an automobile accident to recover economic and non-economic damages under certain circumstances. The Court of Appeals in Hannay ruled the government was required to pay these other types of damages. The Court of Appeals in Hunter ruled the government was not liable to pay such damages under the No-Fault Act.
Lacey & Jones, LLP’s Appeals and Legal Research Group submitted an amicus curiae brief on behalf of the Michigan Townships Association, Macomb County, Oakland County and Wayne County in Hannay. Supreme Court Amicus Brief for MTA, Oakland, Wayne and Macomb
The outcome is likely to affect both No-Fault insurers as well as governmental entities in their future liability and risk apportionment. There are substantial implications involving the costs to the government of continuing to bear the burden of damages claims and liability that it should not be held responsible for under the motor vehicle exception. However, there are also implications to other No-Fault insurance carriers who participate in the apportionment of tort liability under the No-Fault Act.
My previous writings about this current issue are posted here:
Supreme Court to Consider Scope of Government’s Liability for Automobile Accident Damages Claims
Hunter v. Sisco – Court of Appeals Rules Government Not Liable for Noneconomic Damages Claims
Amicus Curiae Brief for MTA, Oakland, Wayne and Macomb Counties Weighing in On Scope of Government’s Liability Under No-Fault Act and Motor Vehicle Exception to Immunity
Feel free to call Carson J. Tucker, Chair of the Appeals and Legal Research Group at Lacey & Jones, LLP at (248) 283-0763 if you have any questions about any of these cases. Mr. Tucker regularly participates in cases before the Supreme Court and Court of Appeals on issues touching many subject-matter areas of civil litigation, including governmental immunity.
Throughout its storied history, Lacey & Jones has distinguished itself from other law firms by maintaining a robust Appeals and Legal Research Group. Effective appellate representation demands different skills than those required by litigation attorneys. Our appellate attorneys are adept at analyzing the intricacies of each case from an objective and critical perspective. From reviewing and preparing the lower court record, identifying appealable errors, and developing a strategy to raise issues that will be addressed by appellate courts, our seasoned appellate team is capable of handling the most complex appeals from the application stage to oral advocacy before the highest courts. Our research abilities and knowledge of current issues in nearly all major subject-matter areas of the law provide our clients with efficient and immediate assistance with complex and high-exposure cases. We are experienced at navigating through the Michigan Court of Appeals and Supreme Court to shepherd the appeal in the most expeditious fashion possible so that it can be reviewed and quickly ruled upon. During the last three decades alone, the Appeals and Legal Research Group at Lacey & Jones has been responsible for over 150 published decisions in the Michigan Court of Appeals and Supreme Court, including seminal decisions in workers’ compensation, governmental immunity, employment and labor law, civil rights law and insurance coverage. Because of its specialized knowledge and focus on appellate law and its recognized expertise, the Appeals and Legal Research Group at Lacey & Jones has been asked to participate as amicus curiae writing briefs for the Supreme Court or as special counsel to the Michigan Attorney General and other governmental entities in some of the most significant cases in the Court of Appeals and Supreme Court. Below are some of the recent significant cases in which Lacey & Jones, LLP’s Appeals and Legal Research Group has participated.
- State Farm v. MMRMA, ___ Mich App ___ (2013), amicus curiae for Oakland County in support of MMRMA application, by Carson J. Tucker
- Hannay v MDOT, ___ Mich ___ 201_), application granted, amicus curiae to be filed for MTA, et al., by Carson J. Tucker
- Yono v. MDOT, ___ Mich ___ (201_), oral argument on application granted, amicus curiae for Oakland, Macomb and Wayne County filed by Carson J. Tucker in support of the state’s application
- Huddleston v. Trinity Health, et al., ___ Mich ___ (201_), oral argument on application granted, amicus curiae with Lawrence Garcia, Esq., for MDTC
- Ashley, LLC v Pittsfield Twp., 494 Mich 875 (2013), application granted, for Pittsfield Township by Carson J. Tucker (resolved by settlement)
- Bailey v. Schaaf, ___ Mich ___ (2013), amicus curiae for MDTC by Carson J. Tucker
- Atkins v. SMART, 492 Mich 707 (2012), oral argument on application, Court of Appeals case reversed by opinion, Carson J. Tucker
- Hagerty v Manistee, 493 Mich 933 (2013), amicus curiae for Michigan Municipal League, et al., by Carson J. Tucker
- McMurtrie v Eaton Corp, 490 Mich 976 (2011)
- Findley v DaimlerChrysler Corp., 490 Mich 928 (2011)
- Brewer v. AD.Transport Express, Inc, 486 Mich 50 (2010)
- Stokes v Chrysler, 481 Mich 266 (2008)
- Brackett v Focus Hope, Inc, 482 Mich 269 (2008)
- Rakestraw v Gen Dynamics, 469 Mich 220 (2003)
- Sington v Chrysler Corp., (2002)
Other appeal cases Carson Tucker has handled include
- Hamed v. Wayne County, et al., 490 Mich. 1 (2011), reversing Court of Appeals published opinion after being briefed and argued by Carson J. Tucker on behalf of Wayne County
- Odom v. Wayne County, et al., 482 Mich. 459 (2008), reversing Court of Appeals after being briefed and argued by Carson J. Tucker on behalf of Wayne County and Wayne County Sheriff and Deputies
- Michigan Department of Transportation v Employers Mutual Casualty Co, et al., 481Mich. 862 (2008), reversing Court of Appeals after being briefed and argued on application by Carson J. Tucker for Trucking Company and Insurer
- Nuculovic v. Hill and SMART, 287 Mich. App. 58 (2010), briefed by Carson J. Tucker for SMART
- Molnar v. Amy Allen, Oakland County Care House, et al, 359 Fed. Appx. 623 (6th Cir. 2009), affirming district court’s judgment in favor of client represented by Carson J. Tucker
- Molnar v. Amy Allen, Oakland County Care House, et al., Case No. 09-1536 (2009), successful defense of application to United States Supreme Court by Carson J. Tucker
- Wetherill v. McHugh, et al., Case No. 10-638 (2011), co-draft response on behalf of South Dakota National Guard to petition for appeal to United States Supreme Court, cert denied by Supreme Court.