Anne V. Mcardle Obtains Two Separate Orders Granting Summary Disposition For Pip Claims And For Um/Uim Claims
Jennifer Jochheim v. GEICO , Ingham County Circuit Court. Plaintiff Jennifer Jochheim was a student at MSU, who was struck by a vehicle in a pedestrian cross-walk. She sustained injuries to her right side, but most significantly, she alleged permanent serious disfigurement from gravel that was imbedded in her face, and had to undergo multiple dermatological procedures. Ms. Jochheim was not a Michigan resident, as she resided in Chicago, and her vehicle was insured under a policy issued in Illinois through GEICO, an out of state insurer. We filed a motion for summary disposition regarding PIP, asserting that the GEICO policy was not a Michigan PIP policy, and was not subject to the exceptions stated under MCL 500.3163 for PIP to apply. The court agreed, stating that since plaintiff was a pedestrian, her injuries in Michigan did not arise from her own ownership, operation, maintenance, or use of a motor vehicle as a motor vehicle, thereby defeating application of MCL 500.3163 per the specific statutory language. Regarding the third party claims, we filed a concurrence to the motion for summary disposition filed by the third-party tortfeasor, stating that if the tortfeasor does not have liability, then there is no liability for UM/UIM benefits. The court ruled that plaintiff did not establish a serious impairment because she testified there was no effect on her general ability to lead a normal life. The court ruled that plaintiff did not establish permanent serious disfigurement, because plaintiff testified that the scarring was not permanent, and through treatment, she had essentially corrected any facial scarring.