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A Better Partnership

July 2015

Jul 2015
July 29, 2015

COA: MERC erred in refusing to permit employer to pursue an alternative claim

In Faust Public Library v. AFSCME Council 25, No. 318467, the Court of Appeals found that there was competent, material, and substantial evidence to support the Michigan Employment Relations Commission’s (“MERC”) conclusion that the head of the Library’s children’s services department did not qualify as a statutory supervisor. As such, the challenged ballot cast by that employee in a union representation election would be opened and counted with the election results.  However, the Court concluded that the MERC erred in refusing to permit the Library to pursue an alternative claim that if the head of the children’s services department is a nonsupervisory position, then the heads of two other departments are also nonsupervisory positions such that the challenged ballots cast by those two employees should also be opened and counted.

Jul 2015
July 27, 2015

MSC: Filing of a medical malpractice complaint before the notice period ends does not commence the action or toll the running of the limitations period

In Tyra v. Organ Procurement Agency of Michigan, No. 148079, the Michigan Supreme Court heard oral arguments on the applications in Tyra v Organ Procurement Agency of Mich, 302 Mich App 208; 850 NW2d 667 (2013), and Furr v McLeod, 304 Mich App 677; 848 NW2d 465 (2014).  The main issue on appeal was whether the premature filing of a medical malpractice complaint before the passage of the applicable notice period commenced the action or tolled the running of the limitations period.  The Court concluded that a medical malpractice complaint filed before the notice period ends does not commence the action or toll the statute of limitations.

Jul 2015
July 24, 2015

COA: A properly crafted named-driver exclusion in a vehicle insurance policy allows insurers to exclude coverage for damages caused by specific drivers

In Frankenmuth Insurance Co. v. Poll, No. 320674, the Michigan Court of Appeals reviewed the trial court’s ruling on a motion for summary disposition as well as de novo issues involving statutory construction and construction of insurance contracts as they apply to named-driver exclusion provisions in an insurance policy under the No-Fault Act, MCL 500.3101. The Court of Appeals held that a named-driver exclusion may allow insurers to exclude specific drivers from an insurance policy.

Jul 2015
July 22, 2015

MSC rules that convictions for both OWI and OWI causing injury, arising out of same incident, violates double jeopardy

In People v. Miller, No. 149502, the Michigan Supreme Court held that conviction and punishment of both operating while intoxicated (“OWI”) and operating while intoxicated causing serious impairment of another person’s body function (“OWI-injury”) arising from the same incident violates the constitutional protection of double jeopardy. Except where explicitly authorized by statute, double jeopardy protects defendants against successive prosecutions for the same offense and against the imposition of multiple punishments for the same offense. 

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