MICHAEL F. SCHMIDT OBTAINS SUMMARY DISPOSITION IN CLAIM FOR UNINSURED/UNDERINSURED MOTORIST COVERAGE AND PIP COVERAGE RESULTING FROM A MOPED ALLEGEDLY STRUCK BY HIT-RUN VEHICLE
Christopher Grady as Next Friend of Christopher Grady, Jr. v State Automobile Mutual Insurance Company, Marie Grissom, Citizens Insurance Company and MAIPF, Wayne County Circuit Court (2022). Suit was filed by Christopher Grady as next friend of his minor son, Christopher Grady, Jr., claiming multiple injuries from an alleged accident in which Grady, Jr. alleged that he was driving a moped when it was hit by a hit-run vehicle. After investigation and discovery including depositions of the plaintiffs, we filed a motion for summary disposition on the basis that Christopher Grady, Jr. did not qualify for uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage or first-party no-fault benefits pursuant to the policy. We argued that there was no claim for uninsured/underinsured motorist benefits because the policy was a business auto policy issued to Serenity Brown Life Insurance, LLC which was owned by Grady, Jr.’s grandmother. We argued that to qualify for uninsured/underinsured motorist benefits, Grady, Jr. had to be “‘occupying’ a covered ‘auto’”. We argued that pursuant to the coverage provision, a “covered auto” was defined as “only those ‘autos’ you own.” The policy defined “you” as “the named insured shown in the Declarations” which was Serenity Brown Life Insurance, LLC, and the moped was owned by Grady, Jr. and thus did not qualify as a “covered ‘auto’”. Regarding the claim for first-party no-fault benefits, we argued that Grady, Jr. did not qualify under any of the requirements to be an insured. He was not “you” which was Serenity Brown Life Insurance, LLC. He was not a “family member” because first the insured was a business which cannot have any “family member” but that even if his grandmother was considered to be the “named insured,” he did not meet the requirement of being a “family member” because he did not reside with her. We argued that he also was not “occupying” a “covered ‘auto’” because the coverage provision required that for PIP coverage, it only applied to “those ‘autos’ you own that are required to have no-fault benefits.” We argued that first Serenity Brown Life Insurance did not own the moped, second, mopeds are not required by Michigan law to have no-fault coverage, and that third, the moped was not an “auto” which was defined by the policy as not including any vehicles with fewer than three wheels. The trial court agreed with all of our arguments and granted summary disposition as to any and all claims for uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage and first-party PIP coverage.