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Armisted v State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company

Case No. 09-2055 (C.A. 6, Apr. 12, 2012)

Plaintiffs are six individuals who suffered catastrophic, traumatic brain injuries as the result of automobile accidents. They seek payment of nofault insurance benefits for the cost of home attendant care services they have received. As plaintiffs’ first-party insurer, defendant State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company (“State Farm”) initially paid benefits at the rates plaintiffs requested but later reduced the rates on the basis of market surveys of the cost of the services. State Farm then refused to raise the rates to the earlier level because it could not verify whether plaintiffs had received the type of care that would justify paying higher rates – plaintiffs had refused to submit documentation regarding the nature and extent of the care they were receiving. This lawsuit followed, and the matter was eventually tried to a jury, which rendered a verdict in State Farm’s favor. The district court denied plaintiffs’ motion for a new trial. On appeal, plaintiffs challenge that decision and the court’s earlier decision to award them monetary sanctions (instead of a default judgment, as they had requested) against State Farm for its violation of discovery orders. State Farm crossappeals the district court’s decision to impose sanctions and its decision denying State Farm’s request for attorney fees with respect to the claims of two plaintiffs. For the reasons stated below, we dismiss for lack of appellate jurisdiction the portions of the appeals concerning State Farm’s discovery sanctions and affirm in all other respects.

I.



Plaintiffs were catastrophically injured in automobile accidents. All sustained traumatic brain injuries in the accidents and are now mentally impaired to varying degrees. After their respective accidents, plaintiffs individually sued State Farm to recover the cost of attendant care services rendered at home. Each lawsuit, except the one involving plaintiff Jonathan Boyce, ended in settlements. State Farm agreed to pay each plaintiff at certain rates for a definite period of time to cover the estimated cost of attendant care services being provided at home by, or at the direction of, family members. In some cases, State Farm obviated the requirement for the insured to submit documentation regarding the details of the home care provided.

At varying times after State Farm’s obligations under the settlement agreements expired, State Farm began conducting market surveys to determine whether the rate it was continuing to pay for attendant care services was reasonable. Various third-party healthcare providers were asked how much they paid their home health aides – those who assist with an injured person’s basic physical and medical needs at home – and State Farm formulated a market rate based on this information. The rate was much less than State Farm had paid during the settlement periods. Based on these surveys, State Farm reduced the amount it was paying plaintiffs and stated that it would consider raising the hourly rate if it received documentation demonstrating that a higher rate was justified based on the nature and extent of the care provided. Despite repeated requests for documentation, plaintiffs, apparently at the urging of counsel, did not provide the requested information. State Farm later suspended benefits for attendant care services with respect to some of the plaintiffs after it was unable to verify whether any such services were being provided.
 

 

Judge(s): Richard Griifin
Jurisdiction: U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit
Related Categories: Civil Procedure , Civil Remedies , Contracts , Health Care
 
Circuit Court Judge(s)
Thomas Anderson
Richard Griifin
Boyce Martin, Jr.

 
Trial Court Judge(s)
Arthur Tarnow

 
Appellant Lawyer(s) Appellant Law Firm(s)
Larry Smith

 
Appellee Lawyer(s) Appellee Law Firm(s)
James Gross Gross & Nemeth PLC
James Hewson Hewson & Van Hellemont PC

 

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farm was paying does not make the claim for attendant care benefits fraudulent. state into the available credit to pay the staff. such conduct is inconsistent with any assertion 761 n.w.2d 784, 791 (mich. ct. app. 2008). 545 u.s. 546, 553 (2005). we asked the parties to submit proof of parks’s citizenship, and they have stewart; leslie stewart; harold adams, reviewedtogetherwith the jury instructions to determine whether it contained any error). at varying times after state farm’s obligations under the settlement agreements jury to find that the plaintiff had incurred expenses for home care, not that a jury would the honorable s. thomas anderson, united states district judge for the western district of complaint is bereft of an allegation regarding the citizenship of towanda parks, preventing us from - award of attorney fees is generally reviewed under the abuse-of-discretion standard.” for the eastern district of michigan at detroit. had requested) against state farmfor its violation of discovery orders. state farm cross- airlines, inc., no. 02-7110, 2002 wl 31818922, at *1 (d.c. cir. dec. 12, 2002) (per untimely as to the merits, the court dismissed the appeal “as to any issues respecting the no-fault insurance act, mich. comp. laws §§ 500.3101-3179. they sought payment documentation, plaintiffs, apparently at the urging of counsel, did not provide the thereby rendering the jury’s verdict, explainable only as an adoption of that theory, guardian of joshua adams; joshua adams; griffin,circuitjudge. plaintiffsaresixindividualswhosufferedcatastrophic, fact when he suggested to the jurors how they should complete the verdict forms, telling request and attorney fees. or it might decide to impose a lesser sanction that both sides set the amount of sanctions for state farm’s discovery violations and ordered further evidence of care, there was enough evidence from which a jury could conclude that - and [plaintiffs’] counsel is right; there’s no mention of documentation anywhere towanda parks, - shift because it was when towanda slept. gary paid his son $200 per month to care for deriving income fromany sources other than attendant care payments. harold and joshua adams had been constituted the necessary proof of expenses incurred in this instance, given that care was and board as partial payment for providing attendant care at night. also, because gary court denied state farm’s motion for summaryjudgment on the plaintiff’s no-fault claim united states court of appeals whether plaintiffs incurred expenses covered by the no-fault act was a question state farm’s theory at trial was that plaintiffs could not prove that they incurred b. plaintiffs had received the type of care that would justify paying higher rates – plaintiffs id. at 258. the same principles apply here – plaintiffs’ notice of appeal is timely as to decision to deny a new-trial motion is reviewed for an abuse of discretion, which means that they provided care, and letters from doctors prescribing the care. id. at *5. degrees. after their respective accidents, plaintiffs individually sued state farm to plaintiffs contend that state farm’s trial theory “misstated the law in michigan, must dismiss that portion of both appeals. either side may seek review of the decision (reversing a grant of summary disposition to an insurance provider, finding that, even law with respect to plaintiffs harold and joshua adams, towanda parks, and lester it encouraged the jury to adopt its theory and hold plaintiffs to this level of proof.4 judgment.’” van cauwenberghe v. biard, 486 u.s. 517, 521-22 (1988) (quoting catlin gary parks, guardian of towanda parks; surprising that the rules of finality for sanction orders parallel the rules for attorney fee documentation of the care it claims was provided constitutes a failure to prove that motion for a new trial because the verdict was against the weight of the evidence. - in its closing argument, counsel repeated this theme: reached; we cannot set it aside simply because we think another result is more justified. - while gary worked a midnight shift at a nearby restaurant. gary chose the midnight 177 f.3d 714, 717-18 (8th cir.1999) (noting agreement on the issue among the second, issues in turn. the district court did not abuse its discretion in denying plaintiffs’ motion for a necessaryproducts,servicesandaccommodations for aninjuredperson’s care,recovery, cooper, federal practice and procedure § 3915.6, p. 347 (2d ed. 1992) (“it is not 266 f.3d 560, 566 (6th cir. 2001). under michigan law, “an insurer is liable to pay regarding the specifics of the attendant care allegedly provided fatally undermined the - additional expenses had been incurred. as we stated earlier, that was not an wagner, brother and guardian of leslie - 05-72399, 2007 wl 3275053 (e.d. mich. nov. 5, 2007), for support. there, the district u.s. fid. ins. & guar. co. v. mich. catastrophic claims ass’n, 795 n.w.2d 101, 110 had been incurred). appeals concerning state farm’s discovery sanctions and affirm in all other respects. 1982). “[f]amily members are entitled to reasonable compensation for the services they attorney in defense against a claim that was in some respect fraudulent . . . .” mich. committed a clear error of judgment.” mich. first credit union, 641 f.3d at 245-46 § 500.3110(4). “to ‘incur’ means ‘[t]o become liable or subject to, [especially] because this rate – one that in most cases was higher than the rate state farm had paid under the the litigation on the merits and leaves nothing for the court to do but execute the for the sixth circuit appeal was filed well after entry of the order adjudicating the merits and was thus court’s order fully resolving all substantive issues on the merits, not when the court nos. 09-2055/2113 f.3d 1041, 1045-46 (6th cir. 1996). but granting a new trial on this ground is a rare ins. co., 550 n.w.2d 580, 587 (mich. ct. app. 1996). that means we will not reverse on the basis of a factual finding unless our review of the entire evidence leaves us “with settlements – was based on the average rate charged by a “life skills trainer” or state farm agreed to pay for misconduct during litigation, too, is collateral to the merits for purposes of finality impose on state farm a monetary sanction that more than covers plaintiffs’ damages sanctions order is collateral to the merits, we are not deprived of jurisdiction to review n requesting benefits for around-the-clock attendant care services they claimed they received. plaintiffs do fed. r. civ. p. 59(a). we have interpreted this language to mean that a new trial is he employed. when benefits were later restored at a lower level, wagner still tapped pamela armisted, guardian of j.b.; j.b., a we consider the amount of attorney fees it would award state farm on the adams claims. plaintiffs farm was not entitled to attorney fees on the claims of parks and stewart. although the plaintiffs and state farm filed timely appeals. shortly after plaintiffs filed their $11.34 per hour from state farm for attendant care and case management services. “[a]llowable expenses consisting of all reasonable charges incurred for reasonably traumatic brain injuries in the accidents and are now mentally impaired to varying jurisdiction is created by statute. 28 u.s.c. § 1291 vests the circuit courts with shields v. gov’t emps. hosp. ass’n, inc., 490 f.3d 511, 514-15 (6th cir. 2007). its - an insured has the burden to prove his or her entitlement to no-fault benefits. act unreasonably if it found otherwise. id. see also booth, 569 n.w.2d at 905 members. in some cases, state farm obviated the requirement for the insured to submit healthcare providers were asked how much they paid their home health aides – those plaintiffs. they don’t have to prove anything. they just walk in and say this is what who assist with an injured person’s basic physical and medical needs at home – and state appeals the district court’s decision to impose sanctions and its decision denying state because there was not even a dispute that at least some expenses had been incurred and p.l.c., detroit, michigan, james f. hewson, hewson & van hellemont, p.c., charge almost twice what home health aides charge. reason for including the first question on the form if “yes” was the only answer the jury company (“state farm”) initially paid benefits at the rates plaintiffs requested but later - with state farm that the plaintiffs failed to prove by a preponderance of the evidence that then refused to raise the rates to the earlier level because it could not verify whether injury occurs but as the allowable expense . . . is incurred.” mich. comp. laws llc v. fiddes & son ltd., 437 f.3d 140, 144 n.2 (1st cir. 2006); manion v. am. nos. 09-2055/2113 armisted, et al. v. state farm page 9 jonathan boyce’s lawsuit involved only whether state farm was responsible for no-fault one learn whether things deserve to be paid? it could be on the basis of documentation, defendant-appellee/cross-appellant. merits of the action[,]” noting that a timely notice of appeal is “an essential prerequisite before: martin and griffin, circuit judges; anderson, district judge.* sufficiently established to support a finding that plaintiff incurred semi-dependent care farm’s request for attorney fees on the parks and stewart claims.3 provide at home to an injured person in need of care.” bonkowski v. allstate ins. co., occurrence – it happens only when the verdict is said to be unreasonable. id. at 1048. _________________ was rendered and therefore “incurred.” we cannot say the verdict was unreasonable. fraudulent. state farm makes a similar argument with respect to lester stewart’s claim. _________________ of the care, which is not true because gary’s son provided care five nights per week we noted at oral arguments the possibility of another jurisdictional defect: the amended benefits are payable without regard to fault, id. § 500.3105(2), but are limited to - expenses for the care were actually incurred. cf. moghis v. citizens ins. co. of am., 466 a. working for him and also promised to pay them out of the proceeds of this lawsuit. in plaintiffs sued state farm for recovery of insurance benefits under michigan’s fifth, seventh, eighth, and ninth circuits); turnbull v. wilcken, 893 f.2d 256, 258 (10th motion for a new trial. on appeal, plaintiffs challenge that decision and the court’s reasonably could conclude, based on testimony alone, that expenses for attendant care n.w.2d 290, 292 (mich. ct. app. 1990) (per curiam) (holding, despite testimony that had refused to submit documentation regarding the nature and extent of the care they these times. party is entitled to a new trial. mich. first credit union v. cumis ins. soc’y, inc., 641 that, “given the way the case was presented to the jury, the jury relied very heavily on finding that state farm had violated discovery orders and would be sanctioned for its f.3d 240, 245 (6th cir. 2011). a district court may grant a new jury trial “for any reason _________________ (mich. 2009). “to be reimbursed for an ‘allowable expense’ under m.c.l. nos. 09-2055/2113 armisted, et al. v. state farm page 2 towanda. at the time, gary was collecting, on his ex-wife’s behalf, approximately “behavioral technician,” a person trained to manage the behavior of those who, because determination of the amount. the court also recalled at the hearing that it had not yet v. documentation like doctors keep, documentation like any other professional person ii. recommended for full-text publication warranted when “a jury has reached a ‘seriously erroneous result’ as evidenced by . . . according to the district court, the jury’s verdict is explained precisely by its adoption statefarmcontendsthatparks’sclaimforaround-the-clockattendantcareat$30 i want to do. i want this money for 24 hours whether i did it or not. working for their family business, sometimes more than forty miles from home, while at the same time unreasonable answer. the evidence in the record – testimony and doctors letters – was sufficient to permit a - will accept without appealing. “better to wait until the district judge has made up his as plaintiffs’ first-party insurer, defendant state farm mutual automobile insurance (mich. 2003) (per curiam) (quoting webster’s ii new college dictionary (2001)). to be paid $30 an hour, $720 a day for it. benefits, wagner secured a line of credit in an attempt to retain the staff of caregivers reasonable for a jury to conclude that an insured’s failure to produce at trial detailed in addition to attorney fees, courts have found that a decision to sanction a party which rendered a verdict in state farm’s favor. the district court denied plaintiffs’ x in its opening statement, for example, state farm’s counsel told the jury: it would impose. jerry wagner employed various individuals to help provide lester stewart with reasons stated below, we dismiss for lack of appellate jurisdiction the portions of the city of farmington hills, 34 f. app’x 196, 198 (6th cir. 2002); accord thomas v. ford nos. 09-2055/2113 armisted, et al. v. state farm page 5 plaintiffs contend that the district court abused its discretion in denying their the jury answered “no” on the verdict form to the question: “were allowable expenses specifically in the no-fault act. but the first question you are going to be asked to look was first articulated in budinich v. becton dickinson & co., 486 u.s. 196 (1988), where i. of an insured’s claim for benefits, the burden rests with the insured to demonstrate by plaintiffs’ new-trial motion and granted in part state farm’s request for attorney fees, bessemer city, 470 u.s. 564, 573 (1985) (quotation marks omitted). opinion § 500.3107(1)(a), a plaintiff bears the burden of proving that (1) the charge for the iii. incurred by or on behalf of the plaintiff arising out of the accidental bodily injury caused state farm had paid during the settlement periods. based on these surveys, state farm already paid were not incurred. therefore, plaintiffs argue, it was entirely unreasonable home attendant care. wagner paid them for their services and provided room and board knows what you did. that’s the way the world works. but not here. not for these hourly rate if it received documentation demonstrating that a higher rate was justified of this theory. at the hearing on plaintiffs’ new-trial motion, the district court observed announced that it would set the matter for a hearing. as of the present time, no hearing requested information. state farm later suspended benefits for attendant care services the failure of documentation.” we defer to the district court’s explanation of the jury’s an appeal.” mcclendon v. city of albuquerque, 630 f.3d 1288, 1292 (10th cir. 2011). for the jury to decide. see booth, 569 n.w.2d at 905. state farm persuaded the jury appeal notice, the district court sua sponte stayed, pending resolution of plaintiffs’ preventsappellatecourtsfrominterveningandunnecessarilysecond-guessingthedistrict reduced the rates on the basis of market surveys of the cost of the services. state farm review the matter. we therefore dismiss that portion of the appeals. but because the said in its verdict, and plaintiffs’ overly literal reading of the verdict form is not well- gnesys, inc. v. greene, 437 f.3d 482, 487 n.1 (6th cir. 2005). care and made no out-of-pocket payments for it. id. at *4. the court denied state argued: october 7, 2011 nos. 09-2055/2113 armisted, et al. v. state farm page 4 general testimony that care over and beyond that for which state farm had already paid does not normally occur “until there has been a decision by the district court that ‘ends repeated many times at trial that in today’s age one does not pay another for services the supreme court found “it indisputable that a claim for attorney’s fees is not part of of a brain injury, lack the ability to control their own behavior. life skills trainers that wagner was not paying the caregivers and was instead keeping the benefits for it reserved we do not agree with state farm that the district court’s findings with respect to to award fees. nos. 09-2055/2113 armisted, et al. v. state farm page 11 v. united states, 324 u.s. 229, 233 (1945)). v. automobile accident[?]” plaintiffs moved for a new trial, claiming that the verdict was by or on behalf of the plaintiff arising out of the accidental bodily injury caused by the during the hearing on state farm’s motion, the district court ruled that state in sum, because the district court has not resolved how it will sanction state that some of her nighttime care was provided by parks’s son at a lower rate than state judgment on the merits from being final.” id. at 200-02. that is why the perfection of awards. a judgment on the merits is final despite the failure to resolve pending sanction final and appealable once it had adjudicated the merits and entered a judgment, even joseph chauvin; joseph chauvin; jerry earlier decision to award themmonetary sanctions (instead of a default judgment, as they example, the tenth circuit held that the district court’s decision on the merits became unless provided with documentation showing that services have in fact been rendered. each plaintiff at certain rates for a definite period of time to cover the estimated cost of according to state farm, gary sought reimbursement for care he was not himself gross & nemeth, p.l.c., detroit, michigan, for appellee. on brief: larry a. was incurred.” williams v. aaa mich., 646 n.w.2d 476, 480 (mich. ct. app. 2002). 619, 626 (mich. ct. app. 1985). contrary to state farm’s assertion, the record does not documentation, we never get it. it never comes. you punch a clock to go to work. you plaintiffs were catastrophically injured in automobile accidents. all sustained would keep, documentation like here’s what i’m doing on this particular day, and i want nos. 09-2055/2113 armisted, et al. v. state farm page 12 wagner managed and supervised the care being provided and was entitled to for the above reasons, we dismiss for lack of jurisdiction the portion of the punch a clock when you leave. you turn in the hours in the middle and everybody by the automobile accident[?]” according to plaintiffs, the answer defies the evidence or use of a motor vehicle as a motor vehicle . . . .” mich. comp. laws § 500.3105(1). in diversity cases, we apply federal procedural law in determining whether a already compensated by state farm, benefits which it owed to plaintiffs. the district argued: larry a. smith, southfield, michigan, for appellants. james g. gross, - providing or adequately paying his son to provide, making his claim in some respect has been noticed, and a sanction has not been imposed. personnel. van marter v. am. fid. fire ins. co., 318 n.w.2d 679, 683 (mich. ct. app. iv. - though it left unresolved at the time whether it would sanction one of the parties for 3 nos. 09-2055/2113 armisted, et al. v. state farm page 14 kathleen chauvin, parent and guardian of with respect to the claims of parks and stewart. the verdict being against the weight of the evidence.” holmes v. city of massillon, 78 of the forum state – here, michigan – applies. hayes v. equitable energy res. co., - * sanction a “reasonable sum against a claimant as an attorney’s fee for the insurer’s the merits of the action to which the fees pertain” and adopted “a uniform rule that an guardian of joshua adams; eileen adams, once the district court sets and imposes the sanction. auto-owners ins. co., 569 n.w.2d 903, 905 (mich. ct. app. 1997) (per curiam) documentation regarding the details of the home care provided. statute, it is clear from the record that such a finding was the basis for its decision not the benefits state farm was paying. initially, wagner testified that he paid those the plaintiffs, you are instructed to award the benefits that have not already been paid taken. the trial concerned only whether plaintiffs had incurred additional expenses not denhof v. city of grand rapids, 494 f.3d 534, 543 (6th cir. 2007). a district court’s based on the nature and extent of the care provided. despite repeated requests for this rule regarding the finality of sanction orders is prudent because it avoids the district court’s denial of plaintiffs’ motion for a new trial and its denial of state was not billed by family member for services provided, holding that “whether the them to subtract from the total value of benefits it found were owed the amount the recover the cost of attendant care services rendered at home. each lawsuit, except the sanction for state farm’s discovery violations. therefore, its decision to sanction state stewart. see mich. comp. laws § 500.3148(2). at a hearing, the district court denied tennessee, sitting by designation. minor, by pamela armisted, guardian; as we indicated above, the district court has not determined or imposed its being provided at home at the direction of family members instead of at a care facility - because there is no final decision on the sanctions issue, we lack appellate jurisdiction insurance company, we first address our jurisdiction to hear this appeal even though no party has new trial. compensation for those services. see sharp v. preferred risk mut. ins. co., 370 n.w.2d appropriate sanction and ruled that it would impose a “substantial monetary sanction” family members who provide care are not required to present a formal bill in order to because jurisdiction in this case is predicated on diversity, the substantive law not appeal this decision but may do so once the fee amount has been set. obliged us. we are now satisfied that we have diversity jurisdiction. nos. 09-2055/2113 armisted, et al. v. state farm page 3 evidence showed state farm had already paid. furthermore, plaintiffs, who proposed which as state farm admits, requires no such documentation” of the care provided, so, when he’s asked for the documentation – when state farm says send us the against the weight of the evidence. state farm moved for attorney fees under michigan with respect to some of the plaintiffs after it was unable to verify whether any such therefore, we will uphold the verdict if it was one which the jury reasonably could have - protection insurance benefits payable for accidental bodily injury accrue not when the to have to decide whether or not these things actually deserve to be paid. and how does farm is not yet a final order subject to appellate review under § 1291. see russell v. (reversing the grant of summary disposition to insurer granted on the ground that insured appeal from the united states district court one involving plaintiff jonathan boyce, ended in settlements.1 reasonably could have given. by answering “no” to the question, the jury clearly agreed documentation of the services rendered is certainly persuasive evidence on the matter. were receiving. this lawsuit followed, and the matter was eventually tried to a jury, value are matters properly left for the jury to decide”). but as with the other elements nos. 09-2055/2113 armisted, et al. v. state farm page 10 lack of jurisdiction to review the latter. farm’s contention to the contrary ignores the fact that gary provided his son with room court’s instructions made the jury’s duty clear. see santos v. posadas de puerto rico determining whether there is complete diversity. see exxon mobil corp. v. allapattah servs., inc., roommates cared for the plaintiff, that “the extent of any aid to plaintiff was not verdict. reverse course and provide the very relief a complaining party might seek to achieve in nos. 09-2055/2113 armisted, et al. v. state farm page 13 testimony that she received care from family members, testimony from family members per hour was based on the premise that her ex-husband, gary parks, was providing all factual findings are reviewed for clear error. id. at 515; beach v. state farm mut. auto. , farm formulated a market rate based on this information. the rate was much less than nos. 09-2055/2113 armisted, et al. v. state farm page 6 insurance coverage. the michigan courts determined that it was and ordered it to start paying the benefits smith, southfield, michigan, for appellants. james g. gross, gross & nemeth, the adams plaintiffs had lied under oath when asked at their deposition whether they were raised the issue. see bonner v. perry, 564 f.3d 424, 426 (6th cir. 2009). our appellate relevant here is the requirement that an expense be “incurred.” “personal our lack of jurisdiction to review the district court’s decision to sanction state by an aide in the past”). the jury here simply determined that a lack of documentation managing her medications, and working closely with her physical therapist. the fact district court did not expressly state that it found the claims not fraudulent under the the claims of parks and stewart are clearly erroneous. gary parks rendered most of his appeals concerning state farm’s discovery sanctions and affirm in all other respects. state farm mutual automobile a notice of appeal that sought review of the merits began to run upon entry of the district unable to show that she incurred expenses because she had signed no contract for such though the insured never billed family members for attendant care services, a jury reduced the amount it was paying plaintiffs and stated that it would consider raising the farm’s request for attorney fees with respect to the claims of two plaintiffs. for the plaintiffs-appellants/cross-appellees, or her mind than to intervene when things remain in flux and the district court could still we will reverse only if we have “a definite and firm conviction that the trial court - - or rehabilitation.” id. § 500.3107(1)(a). care need not be provided by trained medical buntea is of no help to plaintiffs here. the district court there held simply that matters.”). in turnbull v. wilcken, 893 f.2d 256 (10th cir. 1990) (per curiam), for in his home. although state farm paid wagner more than he paid the providers, was continuing to pay for attendant care services was reasonable. various third-party where the type and extent of care would be documented in detail. it is certainly 4 himself. the district court’s findings on the matter are not clearly erroneous. assocs., inc., 452 f.3d 59, 65 (1st cir. 2006) (noting that a verdict form must be documentation showing, among other things, who provided attendant care, what type of against state farm instead. it reserved ruling on the amount of the monetary sanction allowable expenses for attendant care services because they failed to produce another concerning the appropriateness of the sanction imposed. moreover, the rule plaintiffs alternatively contend that the jury’s verdict was nonsensical because 2 to appellate jurisdiction.” id. at 257-58. but because the notice was timely as to the the merits but premature as to the sanctions, permitting review of the former, despite a traumatic brain injuries as the result of automobile accidents. they seek payment of no- of one’s own actions.’” proudfoot v. state farm mut. ins. co., 673 n.w.2d 739, 743 then being paid by another insurance provider. and appellate review. see 15b charles a. wright, arthur r. miller & edward h. discovery was contentious, and the district court eventually entered an order addition, during the time state farm had temporarily suspended stewart’s attendant care court before it makes its final decision. the district court in this case might decide to care was provided and for how long, and the qualifications of the providers. counsel claims. the lack of finality with respect to a matter that is collateral to the merits does state farm had maintained only that benefits over and beyond that for which it had curiam); lazorko v. pa. hosp., 237 f.3d 242, 248 (3d cir. 2000); santini v. cleveland the court gave the following instruction: “if you decide no-fault benefits are owed to - not deprive a circuit court of jurisdiction it otherwise has to review the merits. this rule farm, its decision to sanction state farm is not yet final, and we lack jurisdiction to service was reasonable, (2) the expense was reasonably necessary and (3) the expense benefits for accidental bodily injury arisingoutoftheownership,operation,maintenance contumacious conduct. it denied plaintiffs’ request for a default judgment as the counsel create an issue of fact as to whether expenses have been incurred. see, e.g., booth v. file name: 12a0100p.06 at on this form is were the benefits incurred. were they incurred? and you are going to stay its determination of the appropriate sanction simply because plaintiffs had “no” to the following question on the verdictforms: “were allowable expenses incurred a definite and firm conviction that a mistake has been committed.” anderson v. city of new-trial motion and state farm’s request for attorney fees on the parks and stewart farm’s motion for summary judgment, finding that, despite a lack of documentary appeal, its determination of the sanction it would impose against state farm and the for appellee. unreasonable. they cite buntea v. state farm mutual automobile insurance co., no. ex-wife’s attendant care, which also included planning and preparing her meals, (quotation marks omitted). clinic fla., 232 f.3d 823, 825 n.1 (11th cir. 2000) (per curiam); lee v. l.b. sales, inc., farm does not, however, prevent us from reviewing its final decision denying plaintiffs’ > order imposing sanctions, the court had jurisdiction to hear that portion of the appeal. services were being provided. nos. 09-2055/2113 armisted, et al. v. state farm page 7 awarding fees only with respect to the claims of harold and joshua adams.2 conduct during discovery. id. at 257. according to the tenth circuit, the time to file attendant care expenses had been incurred. the evidence included the plaintiff’s the sole issue presented in state farm’s cross-appeal that we have jurisdiction jurisdiction to hear appeals from “final decisions” of the district courts. a final decision motor co., 244 f. app’x 535, 538 n.2 (4th cir. 2007) (per curiam); roger edwards, for payment of 24-hour home attendant care. state farm argued that the plaintiff was for the cost of around-the-clock home attendant care services at the rate of $30 per hour. nos. 09-2055/2113 armisted, et al. v. state farm page 8 comp. laws § 500.3148(2). “under both michigan and federal law, a trial court’s following a twenty-day trial, a jury rendered a verdict for state farm, answering appealed the merits of the case. the district court granted plaintiffs’ motion and promptly moved to set aside the stay, arguing that there was no authority for the court plaintiff was entitled to collect the value of the services and the determination of the cir. 1990) (per curiam). (over the objection of state farm) the very verdict form they now challenge, offer no unresolved issue of attorney’s fees for the litigation in question does not prevent pursuant to sixth circuit rule 206 briefing from the parties on what would be appropriate. _________________ worked nearby during nighttime hours, he was available to assist in providing care in the entered its order fixing the sanction nearly eight months later. because the notice of insofar as the appeals challenge the district court’s decision to sanction state farm. we to consider is whether the district court erred by not awarding state farm attorney fees irrefutably demonstrate that wagner did not pay the caregivers for their services out of by the defendant as follows[.]” (emphases added.) plaintiffs’ counsel emphasized this 1 for which a new trial has heretofore been granted in an action at law in federal court.” attendant care services being provided at home by, or at the direction of, family that detailed information regarding the times and specific type of care provided a preponderance of the evidence that each expense was actually incurred. and detailed piecemeal appeals, one regarding the district court’s decision to sanction a party and fault insurance benefits for the cost of home attendant care services they have received. an appeal does not deprive a district court of jurisdiction to award attorney fees. see decided and filed: april 12, 2012 no. 07-10259—arthur j. tarnow, district judge. for the jury to conclude that no expenses had been incurred. but that is not what the jury michigan’s no-fault insurance act provides that an insurer may be awarded as a event it became necessary. he was entitled to compensation for being on-call during expired, state farm began conducting market surveys to determine whether the rate it


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