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Five Stories that Matter in Michigan This Week – August 19, 2022

  1. Insurance Agents Who Make a Material Error on Policy Application Now May be Liable after Michigan Court of Appeals Ruling

On August 4, 2022, the Michigan Court of Appeals ruled in Holman v. Farm Bureau Gen. Ins. Co. of Michigan, No. 357473, that an insurance agent who makes a material error on a policy application may be liable.

Why it Matters: This case concerns the scope of an agent’s duty in preparing a policy application for a customer, and makes clear that an agent can be held liable for mistakes. While the court noted that a plaintiff’s duty to review the application could be taken into account when assessing fault, that does not bar a negligence claim against a defendant/agent.


  1. Will Electric Vehicle Incentives Under Inflation Reduction Act Actually Hurt Sales?

The Inflation Reduction Act, which President Biden signed into law on Tuesday, August 16, includes billions in incentives for electric vehicle adoption, including $7,500 tax credits for EV purchases. However, many automotive manufacturers are not happy with the rules the bill imposes for vehicles to qualify for the credits.

Why it Matters: Opponents of the new guidelines argue that pricing, sourcing and manufacturing rules, which require significant domestic sourcing of raw materials and manufacturing, are too aggressive and could result in most EVs not qualifying for the federal incentives—therefore stifling sales for many manufacturers.


  1. Court Ruling Prohibits Discrimination on the Basis of Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Under Michigan Law

The Michigan Supreme Court recently ruled that discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity is discrimination prohibited by the Michigan Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act (the “ELCRA”) in the case of Rouch World, LLC, v. Department of Civil Rights.

Why it Matters: Employers with 15 or more employees were already prohibited by federal law from discriminating on the basis of gender identity or sexual orientation under Title VII. However, small employers in Michigan are now also subject to the same rules.


  1. Citizens for Better Social Equality Ballot Initiative Struck Down By Detroit Election Commission

A ballot initiative aimed at replacing the City of Detroit’s current marijuana ordinance was struck down by the Detroit Election Commission after it was determined the initiative did not have enough signatures required to secure a ballot spot under the Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana Act.

Why it Matters: The group behind the proposed initiative, Citizens for Better Equality, were fighting an uphill battle as the Detroit City Council vehemently opposed the initiative and the city’s Law Department had stated that the group does not have enough valid signatures. This is the latest development in a turbulent time for the city as they have yet to establish and begin selling recreational cannabis. Fraser Trebilcock cannabis attorneys will continue to monitor the situation for updates.


  1. Michigan Job Growth Projected Through 2030

Earlier this week, the Michigan Department of Technology, Management & Budget projected that Michigan’s job growth through 2030 would be 8.8%, or an estimated 374,930 jobs.

Why it Matters: Officials looking at industries who are seeing the highest growth rates are ones that are the result of the recovery from the pandemic. While it is observed that leisure and hospitality industries will lead the pack in terms of growth, other industries such as farming, fishing, and forestry, are at projected to decline.

Related Practice Groups and Professionals

Insurance Law | Emily Vanderlaan

Energy, Utilities & Telecommunication | Michael Ashton

Labor & Employment | Aaron Davis

Cannabis Law | Sean Gallagher

Business & Tax | Ed Castellani

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