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A Better Partnership
October 10, 2009

MSC Order List: October 9, 2009

On Friday, October 9, 2009, the Michigan Supreme Court peremptorily reversed and remanded two cases, ordered oral argument on the application in one case, and denied leave to appeal in five cases. In Auto-Owners Insurance Co. v. Ferwerda Enterprises, Inc., the Court peremptorily reversed the Court of Appeals decision because the Court concluded that the defendants' claim clearly fell within the coverage provided by the Auto-Owners' policy. The Court remanded the case to the Court of Appeals to consider whether the trial court properly assessed attorneys' fees and penalty interest against Auto-Owners.

In Andres v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co., the Court also peremptorily reversed the Court of Appeals' decision. The Court concluded that even though State Farm may not have plead fraud with specificity as an affirmative defense to the plaintiff's claim, because State Farm did mention fraud in its affirmative defenses and the trial court's consideration of State Farm's fraud defense, the Court of Appeals erred by failing to consider State Farm's fraud defense to the parties' attendant care agreement. The Court remanded the case to the Court of Appeals for further consideration.

In Shay v. Aldrich, the Court ordered oral argument on the application for leave to appeal. The Court ordered the parties to determine whether Romska v. Opper is rightly decided. Romska, an opinion written by Justice Markman while he was on the Court of Appeals, holds that a where a driver releases "all other parties, firms or corporations who are or might be liable," the releasor is barred from asserting claims against third parties to the release.

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