michigan 31504 640

Do You Know the Rule? Mich. Limitation of Liability

28 May, 2024 Frank Ferreri

michigan 31504 640

Detroit, MI (WorkersCompensation.com) -- A Michigan rule spells out that no compensation shall be payable for an occupational disease if the employee at the time of entering into the employment of the employer by whom the compensation would otherwise be payable, or thereafter, willfully and falsely represents in writing that he has not previously suffered from the disease which is the cause of the disability or death.

Where an occupational disease is aggravated by any other disease or infirmity, not itself compensable, or where disability or death from any other cause, not itself compensable, is aggravated, prolonged, accelerated or in any way contributed to by an occupational disease, the compensation payable shall be a proportion only of the compensation that would be payable if the occupational disease were the sole cause of the disability or death as such occupational disease, as a causative factor, bearing to all the causes of such disability or death, such reduction in compensation to be effected by reducing the number of weekly payments or the amounts of such payments, as under the circumstances of the particular case may be for the best interest of the claimant or claimants.

Find compliance summaries from Michigan and the rest of the U.S. on Simply Research

Case examples

Acox v. General Motors Corp., 481 N.W. 2d 749 (Mich. Ct. App. 1991). The claimant had asthma, and the employer alleged that her pre-existing lung condition "inevitably" developed into an occupational disease such that recovery was barred. The court disagreed, writing, "We believe an ordinary disease of life is not converted into an occupational disease by virtue of workplace aggravation or acceleration."

Leach v. Detroit Health Corp., 403 N.W. 2d 803 (Mich. 1987). Held that under the "Larson rule," the following factors must be present before a false statement is will bar benefits:

(1) The employee must have knowingly and willfully made a false representation as to his physical condition.

(2) The employer must have relied on the false representation and this reliance must have been a substantial factor.

(3) There must have been a causal connection between the false representation and the injury.

DeVores v. Ford Motor Company, 429 N.W. 2d 500 (Mich. Ct. App. 1988). Building on the Leach case, the court spelled out the elements that "would seem" to be required to make a case on a false representation:

(1) Willful and false representations

(2) In writing

(3) the claimant has not previously suffered from the disability disease that constitutes the basis of her claim.

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    About The Author

    • Frank Ferreri

      Frank Ferreri, M.A., J.D. covers workers' compensation legal issues. He has published books, articles, and other material on multiple areas of employment, insurance, and disability law. Frank received his master's degree from the University of South Florida and juris doctor from the University of Florida Levin College of Law. Frank encourages everyone to consider helping out the Kind Souls Foundation and Kids' Chance of America.

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