Rambin v. Allstate Insurance Co. (Opinion on Application - Partial Affirm / Reverse)Annotate this Case
Lejuan Rambin sued Allstate Insurance Company and Titan Insurance Company, seeking payment of personal protection insurance (PIP) benefits under the no-fault act. Rambin had been injured while riding a motorcycle owned by and registered to Scott Hertzog. At the time of the accident, Rambin did not own a motor vehicle. The car involved in the accident was uninsured, but Rambin averred that Hertzog owned a car that Allstate insured. Allstate denied Rambin’s claim for PIP benefits. Rambin alternatively alleged that if Allstate was not the responsible insurer, he was entitled to PIP benefits from Titan, the insurer to which the Michigan Assigned Claims Facility had assigned his claim. Titan and Allstate moved for summary judgment, arguing that Rambin took the motorcycle unlawfully and was therefore barred from recovering PIP benefits. Rambin also moved for summary judgment, arguing: (1) that he had joined a motorcycle club even though he did not own a motorcycle; (2) that Hertzog’s motorcycle was subsequently stolen; (3) that Rambin needed a motorcycle to participate in a club ride; (4) that a colleague offered to loan him a motorcycle; and (5) that during the ride he collided with the uninsured automobile while riding the motorcycle. The trial court granted both insurance companies' motion and Rambin appealed. The Court of Appeals reversed and remanded, holding that Rambin had not taken the motorcycle unlawfully. Allstate appealed. The Supreme Court affirmed the Court of Appeals’ decision insofar as it held that plaintiff was entitled to PIP benefits if the evidence established he did not know the motorcycle he had taken was stolen. The Court disagreed, however, with the Court of Appeals’ conclusion that plaintiff was entitled to a finding as a matter of law that he did not take the motorcycle unlawfully, given the circumstantial evidence presented in this case. "The Court of Appeals improperly made findings in regard to the facts of this case that were still very much in dispute." The Court therefore affirmed in part, reversed in part, and remanded the case to the circuit court for further proceedings.