Guardian and Conservator Fees In Michigan

In Heinz v. Auto Club Ins Ass'n, 214 Mich App 195; 543 NW2d 4 (1995), the Court considered whether guardian or conservator fees are "allowable expenses" under MCL 500.3107(1)(a); MSA 24.13107(1)(a). In that case, the insurer provided no-fault benefits to a motorist who was incapacitated by injuries suffered in an auto accident. Id. at 196. Due to the motorist's incapacitation, the plaintiff was appointed as his guardian and conservator. Id. The insurer argued that the "plain meaning" of 3107 is to provide only medical care. However, this Court found that the cases cited by the insurer, while indicating that 3107 provided for medical care, did not address whether 3107 had broader applicability. Id. at 197. Ultimately, this Court found that "the no-fault act is not limited strictly to the payment of medical expenses," and held that services performed by a guardian and conservator were allowable expenses under 3107. Id. at 197-198. The Michigan Supreme Court denied leave to appeal, not joining with Justice Boyle who would have directed that the opinion be deemed without precedential force or effect because "the Court of Appeals opinion is binding and will be broadly read to cover all expenses of a personal representative including attorney fees." Heinz, supra, 453 Mich 913 (1996).