Atkins v. SMART – Michigan Supreme Court Overturns Court of Appeals and Rules Claims Against Public Transportation Authority Were Barred by Plaintiff’s Failure to Provide 60-Day Written Notice of Tort Claims as Required by Statute

I briefed and argued this case for SMART in the Supreme Court on March 7th, 2012 on my application for leave to appeal.  Rather than grant, the Court issued an opinion in favor of SMART, reversing the Court of Appeals decision, which I had appealed.

In an opinion released on August 20th, the Michigan Supreme Court reversed a Court of Appeals decision in favor of the Suburban Metropolitan Transportation Authority (SMART), which had ruled that Plaintiff’s third-party common-law tort claims could go forward despite the fact that the Plaintiff failed to provide written notice of her intention to bring such a claim within 60 days as required by MCL 124.419.

The well-reasoned opinion demonstrates faithfulness to the language of the statute as written by the Legislature, and proves the Court majority’s adherence to the rule of law over judicial lawmaking.

This case was released with McCahan v. Brennan, another notice case against the University of Michigan, which was also argued on the Court’s March 2012 calendar.  Since Atkins cross-references McMahan and the two opinions followed similar legal reasoning, I am attaching both opinions here.

Atkins Opinion

McCahan Opinion

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