Brain Injury Association of Michigan Calls for End of ‘Moral Injustice’ As Auto Insurance Lawsuit Hearing is Held in Court of Appeals
BRIGHTON, Mich. — (June 7, 2022) — In light of today’s Michigan Court of Appeals hearing for the case of Ellen M. Andary, Philip Krueger, & Eisenhower Center, v. USAA Casualty Insurance Company and Citizens Insurance Company of America, Brain Injury Association of Michigan (BIAMI) President and CEO Tom Constand reaffirmed the need to protect crash victims who have been unfairly impacted by the retroactive application of elements of Michigan’s auto insurance law.
In October of 2019, the Andary lawsuit was filed in the Ingham County Court declaring portions of Michigan’s new auto insurance law as unconstitutional. The lawsuit primarily addresses two provisions — significant limitations placed on the right of survivors to receive reimbursement for in-home attendant care services provided by family members, and the 45% cut in catastrophic care for current survivors and anyone who is injured in the future.
“This case addresses what is by far the most heinous aspect of the 2019 no fault reforms deliberately perpetrated by Michigan’s auto insurers against approximately 18,000 catastrophically injured accident victims injured prior to June 2019, who bought and paid for policies before the law was changed that entitled them to recover payment for the agreed upon cost of all necessary non-Medicare coded services as well as full in-home attendant care services without regard to the attendant care provider or the number of hours of attendant care services provided,” said Constand. “The premiums for these policies were priced and sold based on those contractual obligations, which are now being ripped away in the most reprehensible fashion. The retroactive application of both the attendant care limitations and the 55% non-Medicare services fee cap has resulted in an active and well-documented humanitarian crisis of care impacting all 18,000 survivors currently receiving benefits through Michigan’s no-fault system via the Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association (MCCA). Survivors deserve better.”
Earlier this year, BIAMI released results of the first phase of an independent MPHI study tracking the destructive long-term impacts of the 2019 auto insurance reform law. The study found that as of October 2021, the 45% cut in reimbursements had already led to the discharge of more than 1,500 patients; the loss of more than 3,000 jobs; and 21 rehab facilities closing their doors.
Constand also noted that in an amicus brief filed on behalf of the plaintiffs, 73 current and former lawmakers said they had no intent for the new law to be applied retroactively.
While defenders of the law claim that no one is losing care, a trove of independent data—backed by the heartbreaking personal stories captured in over 700 news reports across the state—tell a different story. “Patients are being dropped off in emergency rooms because there’s no one left to care for them,” explained Constand. “Families are exhausted and suffering. Some victims have even died. We hope the Court of Appeals steps in to right this moral injustice.”
About the Brain Injury Association of Michigan
The Brain Injury Association of Michigan (BIAMI) is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) social impact organization dedicated to improving the lives of those affected by brain injury while reducing the incidence and impact of brain injury through advocacy, education, and support. Founded in 1981, the Brighton-based BIAMI serves Michigan’s brain injury community through comprehensive educational and support programming, and is a primary conduit between survivors seeking assistance and the extensive network of accredited treatment facilities, programs and professionals in Michigan. The BIAMI also supports 20 statewide chapters and support groups that meet monthly.