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Court Rules For Insurer In Tragic Hit And Run

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LANSING (WWJ/AP) – The Michigan Supreme Court says an insurance company doesn’t have to pay benefits in a hit-and-run case because the incident wasn’t reported within 30 days.

The court’s conservative majority overturned a decision by the state appeals court Wednesday and said unambiguous contract language has meaning.

William DeFrain of Redford Township suffered severe head injuries when he was struck by a car while walking in May 31, 2008.

DeFrain had insurance in case he was in an accident with someone who was uninsured. But the notice to State Farm about the hit-and-run wasn’t sent until Aug. 25, 86 days after the accident. DeFrain was in intensive care part of that time and subsequently died on Nov. 11.

The appeals court had ruled in favor of DeFrain, saying State Farm wasn’t harmed by the late report.

TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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