Bipartisan, bicameral group of 96 current and former lawmakers show support amicus brief in case before Michigan Supreme Court

MERIDIAN TOWNSHIP, Mich., Feb. 3, 2023 — State Representative Julie Brixie (D-Meridian Township), along with former state Rep. Gary Howell (R-North Branch), worked with Marla Linderman Richelew of Linderman Law PLLC to file a bipartisan, bicameral amicus brief in a lawsuit involving Ellen Andary, a crash victim injured before auto no-fault reforms took effect.

In the memo, lawmakers state they do not believe the retroactive application of two provisions in the 2019 no-fault fault auto insurance law should be applied retroactively — a fee schedule that slashes insurance company payments to providers of post-acute care by nearly half, and a 56-hour-per-week cap on family- and friend-provided, home-based attendant care. These two provisions are being challenged in Ellen M. Andary v. USAA Casualty Insurance Co.

Rep. Brixie and the late state Rep. Andrea Schroeder (R-Independence Township) worked with Linderman to submit an earlier brief signed by 73 bipartisan, bicameral current and former lawmakers when this case was heard in the Michigan Court of Appeals.

“Michiganders paid into our no-fault system for years, and even decades, with the understanding that their insurance policy guaranteed their coverage. We filed this brief because we need to right a wrong,” Brixie said. “Based on the intent of the 2019 reforms and our state Constitution, survivors who were injured prior to the effective date should be entitled to the full benefits specified in their insurance policy at the time of their accident.”

“Fortunately, the Michigan Court of Appeals agreed with our brief and recognized the unconstitutionality of applying the reforms retroactively,” Brixie said. “These legislators never intended to deprive catastrophically injured victims the life-sustaining medical care that was available to them under auto insurance policies they purchased before they were injured and long before the law was changed.”

“We appreciate the Michigan Supreme Court granting us amici curiae status and respectfully urge them to reach the same conclusion as the Michigan Court of Appeals,” Howell said. “The 96 Republican and Democratic legislators who signed onto the brief unequivocally contend that such a fundamentally flawed application of this new law to previously injured patients would be unconstitutional and unfair.”