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Michigan Supreme Court hears appeal in challenge to key part of 2019 auto no-fault law

 Catastrophically injured car accident survivors gather at the State Capitol on January 13, 2022
Tracy Samilton
Michigan Radio
Catastrophically injured car accident survivors gather at the State Capitol on January 13, 2022

The Michigan Supreme Court heard arguments Thursday in a case that will determine if more than 18,000 severely injured car crash survivors keep, or lose, some of their necessary medical care.

The state's 2019 auto no-fault law cut payments for home care nurses and aides nearly in half. Many care providers closed and many people lost their care.

Attorney George Sinas said the cuts are unconstitutional when applied to people injured before the law passed.

"The Legislature can't take away the rights of these severely injured persons to their full no-fault benefits as they existed when they bought their contracts," he said.

But attorneys for insurance companies argued car insurance isn't an inviolable contract — and the state legislature can change benefits by amending the no-fault statute.

The court will issue a decision no later than July 31.

Copyright 2023 Michigan Radio. To see more, visit Michigan Radio.

Tracy Samilton covers the auto beat for Michigan Radio. She has worked for the station for 12 years, and started out as an intern before becoming a part-time and, later, a full-time reporter. Tracy's reports on the auto industry can frequently be heard on Morning Edition and All Things Considered, as well as on Michigan Radio. She considers her coverage of the landmark lawsuit against the University of Michigan for its use of affirmative action a highlight of her reporting career.