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Ex-Justice Cliff Taylor and AAA Insurance Company: Shame on you

September 14, 2010 by Steven M. Gursten

No-fault insurance lawyer adds two new members to his Shame List

I haven’t updated my shame list in a while. Here are two deserving new additions that Michigan drivers and car accident victims should be aware of.

Michigan Supreme Court ex-Justice Clifford Taylor

Ex-Justice Taylor’s reign on the Michigan Supreme Court will be remembered more for the way that four extreme justices (derisively called the “gang of four” by Justice Elizabeth Weaver), put politics before precedent, stare decisis and the rule of law. Insurance companies in Michigan won big and auto accident victims got hammered.

Just how bad was Cliff Taylor, along with Justice Robert Young (up for election this November), and Justices Markman and Corrigan?

The University of Chicago Law School, hardly considered a bastion of liberal bias, rated Cliff Taylor worst justice; and his three Republican cohorts, Young, Markman and Corrigan, the worst supreme court in America during the gang of four years.

You can also take a look at the 38 worst judicial travesties by the gang of four.

Recently, Cliff Taylor reminded us all just how political and partisan he really is. I’ve included his printed comments after the Michigan Supreme Court issued McCormick v Carrier last month, the landmark ruling that restores important legal rights to Michigan car accident victims.

Ex-Justice Taylor – along with Justices Young, Corrigan and Markman – deserve places on the shame list for so many reasons. Kreiner v. Fischer is probably chief among them, but Taylor’s latest comments show why Michigan is so much better without him wearing the robe. Here’s what he said to Michigan Lawyers Weekly:

“(McCormick v. Carrier) entirely disregards the compromise that made auto no-fault possible. In 1973, the Legislature set the law up in such a way that, in return for first-party benefits, it would be very difficult to get third-party benefits. The trial lawyers spent many, many years attempting to wreck that bargain by getting, effectively, tort liability re-established while still having first-party benefits. I think they’ve done it, and I think what the Court’s majority has done is simply thumbed their nose at the grand bargain.

“My expectation is, this is going to cause a significant problem in this state, because it’ll make insurance entirely unaffordable. Estimates are that half the people in Detroit drive uninsured despite mandatory coverage, and that number will go up. I suspect there will probably be a special session of the Legislature or some other emergency handling needed to make it possible for this decision to not completely destroy insurance coverage in this state.” – Clifford W. Taylor, former Michigan Supreme Court Chief Justice and author of Kreiner v. Fischer

One may fairly wonder how is it that an ex-chief justice can feel comfortable making such extreme and hyperbolic comments in print — while ignoring three decades of pre-Kreiner v. Fischer car accident case law and decades of record-setting insurance company profits in Michigan.

Cliff Taylor, thank you for reminding everyone just how unfit to sit on our highest court you truly are.

AAA Insurance Company of Michigan

Why am I shaming AAA insurance? After McCormick v. Carrier was issued, I was interviewed by a number of different newspapers. AAA insurance agents are now using really sad scare tactics by telling people that they may face future rate No-Fault insurance increases, and – get ready for this – handing them a copy of one of these newspaper interviews as an “explanation” for why they may be jacking No-Fault auto insurance rates on unsuspecting customers.

I’ve blogged repeatedly about how shameful it is for the auto insurance industry in Michigan to use scare tactics and to continue raising rates yet again, despite some of the highest profit margins in America. For the insurance agents who are handing out my newspaper article and who have decided to raise rates and then blame someone else (me), I say shame on them for caring more about profits than being honest with their own customers.

Related information:

This insurance company belongs in Hall of Shame

Shame list: Dairyland Insurance

Michigan Auto Law is the leading largest law firm exclusively handling car accident, truck accident and motorcycle accident cases throughout the entire state for more than 50 years. Call (248) 353-7575 for a free case evaluation. We have offices in Farmington Hills, Detroit, Ann Arbor, Grand Rapids and Sterling Heights to better serve you.

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