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151134 - Tamika Harrell v Titan Insurance Co

Tamika Harrell,
 
Mark M. Grayell
 
Plaintiff-Appellee,
 
v
(Appeal from Ct of Appeals)
 
 
(Wayne – Allen, D.)
 
Titan Insurance Company,
 
Ronald M. Sangster, Jr.
 
Defendant-Appellant.
 

Summary

Plaintiff Tamika Harrell was injured while driving an uninsured vehicle titled in the name of her husband, Arville Livingston.  After Harrell’s claim was assigned to defendant Titan Indemnity Company, Titan rejected the claim, concluding that Harrell was an uninsured owner of the vehicle she was driving, and was therefore ineligible for benefits under the No-Fault Act.  Harrell sued.  Titan filed a motion for summary disposition, arguing that Harrell was not eligible for the benefits she sought because she was an owner of the uninsured vehicle in question.  Under the No-Fault Act, an “owner” includes a person “having the use” of a motor vehicle “for a period that is greater than 30 days.”  MCL 500.3101(2)(k)(i).  The trial court denied Titan’s motion, finding that a question of material fact existed.  After trial, the trial court ruled that Harrell was not an owner of the vehicle.  The trial court concluded that Harrell’s use of the vehicle was “sporadic and intermittent” and that she had to first obtain Livingston’s permission.  Titan appealed to the Court of Appeals, which affirmed the trial court in an unpublished per curiam opinion.  Titan filed an application for leave to appeal to the Supreme Court.  On September 23, 2015, the Supreme Court ordered the parties to appear for oral argument and address whether Tamika Harrell is an “owner” under the No-Fault Act, MCL 500.3101(2)(k)(i).