O'Neil Wallace & Doyle, PC

No Fault Amendments Do Not Apply Retroactively

 

Name: Andary v. USAA Casualty Insurance Company et. al.

Court: Michgian Court of Appeals

Issued: August 25, 2022

INTRODUCTION

The Michigan Court of Appeals recently issued an opinion in Andary v. USAA Casualty Insurance Company et. al. related to the applicability of the 2019 amendments to the Michigan No-Fault Act to expenses arising out of motor-vehicle accidents that occurred prior to the effective date of the amendments. In sum, the Court held that the 2019 amendments to the Michigan No-Fault Act do not apply to allowable expenses incurred as a result of an accident that occurred prior to the effective date of the amendments, June 11, 2019.

ANALYSIS

In reaching its decision, the Michigan Court of Appeals analyzed the language of the statutory amendments and found that same did not contain any clear, direct and unequivocal language indicating that the amendments were intended to operate retroactively. Additionally, the Court analyzed the factors for retroactive application of statutes in LaFontaine Saline, Inc. v. Chrysler Croup, LLC, 496 Mich. 26 (2014) and found that same favored prospective application of the amendments to allowable expenses incurred as a result of accidents that occurred after the effective date of the statutory amendments. In addition to the foregoing, the Court found that retroactive application of the statutory amendments would violate the Contracts Clause of the Michigan Constitution as it would result in a substantial impairment of the injured party's rights under an existing policy and no significant and legitimate public purpose justified retroactive application. We will continue to keep a close eye on this case and its progeny  for further guidance from the Court on this issue.

 

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