Detroit mayor's Michigan car insurance lawsuit back in court

DETROIT – Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan is taking the fight against high auto insurance rates to federal court on Thursday.

The state of Michigan has some of the highest auto insurance rates in the country. Drivers are hoping for real relief after Duggan filed a lawsuit against the state's insurance director.

The lawsuit asks the court to declare the state's no-fault law unconstitutional for not having rates that are fair and equitable. Thursday's hearing in federal court is about a motion to dismiss the case. If not dismissed, there is another motion to move the case from federal court to state court.

Legal experts aren't sure this suit will hold up.

"I think it's plausible the lawsuit will be dismissed tomorrow, or at some point in the future," said attorney Wayne Miller, of the Michigan Trial Lawyers Association.

Miller teaches the no-fault class at Wayne State University's law school. He also sits on the trial lawyers task force on auto reform. What everyone agrees upon is that Michigan auto insurance rates -- especially in urban areas -- are exorbitant. How to fix this is an entirely different discussion.

In fact, Duggan, a Democrat, worked with Republican lawmakers on a reform package that didn't pass the legislature after Detroit Democrats wouldn't lend their support.

"The politics of this are very complex, very tough. There are interests going every which way, but I believe from what I've heard there is resolve that really hasn't been there before," said Miller.

About the Author: