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Court: Insurance fund is public, but its records aren’t

The state Court of Appeals says a fund created by the Legislature to pay the medical bills of catastrophically injured accident victims does not have to publicly share details on how it operates.

The appeals court upheld a law that exempts the Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association from the state’s Freedom of Information Act. The MCCA was created by law, but is run by insurance companies. It’s funded through a mandatory fee on auto insurance policies.

A group of trial lawyers, hospitals, and advocates for accident victims challenged the law. They say it’s illegal because the Legislature never added the MCCA to the list of exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act.

Coalition spokesman Josh Hovey says the issue is bigger than a fight over car insurance.

“It really is about transparency in government, and how our Freedom of Information Act works.”

Hovey says the group is still deciding whether to file an appeal with the Michigan Supreme Court.