e-Journal Summary

e-Journal Number : 62611
Opinion Date : 04/28/2016
e-Journal Date : 05/26/2016
Court : Michigan Court of Appeals
Case Name : Carson City Hosp. v. Quick-Sav Food Stores, Ltd.
Practice Area(s) : Environmental Law, Administrative Law
Judge(s) : Per Curiam - Sawyer, Murphy, and Ronayne Krause
Full Text Opinion

Gasoline leak in connection with an underground storage tank (UST); Doctrine of primary jurisdiction; Attorney Gen. v. Blue Cross Blue Shield of MI; Travelers Ins. Co. v. Detroit Edison Co.; Rinaldo’s Constr. Corp. v. Michigan Bell Tel. Co.; In re Application of Int’l Transmission Co.; Chapter 8 of the Natural Resources & Environmental Protection Act (NREPA); MCL 324.21301a(1); MCL 324.21323a(1)(a) & (6); MCL 324.21307; MCL 324.21308a; MCL 324.21309a(1); MCL 324.21311a(1); MCL 324.21312a; MCL 324.21315; MCL 324.21319a(2); MCL 324.21323; MCL 324.21323b(1)(b) & (c); MCL 324.21323b(7); MCL 324.21326(2)(f); Whether the doctrine of primary jurisdiction can be employed in the context of a tort claim or allegations of tortious conduct; Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ)


The trial court did not err in invoking the doctrine of primary jurisdiction “given the unresolved matters existing within the parameters of the MDEQ proceedings” as to the full extent of the remedial measures and corrective actions to be demanded and taken in connection with the UST release, which necessarily had “a bearing on issues regarding the remedies sought by” the plaintiff’s clinic in the lawsuit. The court concluded that any “continued litigation in the trial court could have unacceptably resulted in equitable, declaratory, or monetary relief inconsistent with or adverse to steps taken and decisions made by the MDEQ in exercising its administrative authority in connection with the petroleum release and contamination.” The case stemmed from a gasoline leak in connection with an UST located on the defendant-market’s “property, resulting in the release of at least 800 gallons of petroleum into the surrounding environment, including the clinic’s property. Invoking the discretionary doctrine of primary jurisdiction, the trial court decided to defer, at least for now, to the expertise and ongoing involvement of” the MDEQ, which was acting pursuant to Chapter 8 of the NREPA, in addressing the release and resulting contamination. Affirmed.

Full Text Opinion