David Nelson

David M. Nelson

Director

Carly Vincent (Assistant) – 517-324-1055 or cvincent@willinghamcote.com

David M. Nelson is a shareholder and has practiced law for over 15 years. He is the Secretary of the firm. He is a member of the Insurance Group and Hospitality & Alcohol Law Group for the firm. Mr. Nelson specializes in first party no-fault litigation, coverage disputes, third party auto claims, and hospitality and alcohol law. He has many years of experience in handling matters in court in that he has drafted and answered discovery requests, drafted motions, attended court hearings, has taken various depositions of both lay witnesses and expert witnesses, has handled appeals, and has handled all steps of the litigation process including trials.

David M. Nelson is chair of the firm’s insurance practice group and is a member of the firm’s litigation group. He handles a wide variety of insurance matters including first-party litigation, third-party litigation and insurance coverage issues.

Trial/Litigation Success

Mr. Nelson has successfully handled cases throughout the state either by prevailing at trial, or by disposing of cases prior to trial. He has also obtained reimbursement for insurance clients on the basis that benefits were wrongfully paid because the injuries claimed were not related to the accident.

He takes a creative approach to legal problems, and thinks not in terms of what cannot be done but rather what arguments can be made to achieve client goals. Prior to practicing insurance law, Mr. Nelson practiced medical malpractice defense and the medical knowledge he learned in that specialty has been instrumental in deposing treating physicians and medical experts, as well as in analyzing complex medical causation issues.

Mr. Nelson has also handled cases on appeal including cases in the Michigan Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals and U.S. Supreme Court.

Outside the practice of law, Mr. Nelson enjoys reading history, playing ice hockey, golfing and spending time with his wife and two children.

  • Lenk v Frankenmuth and Home-Owners Ins Co, unpublished opinion of the Court of Appeals, issued November 25, 2014 (Docket No. 317014): obtained summary disposition in favor of Home-Owners on basis that plaintiff could not meet the tort threshold which was necessary to allow her to obtain uninsured motorist benefits. This ruling was affirmed on appeal, which our firm also handled.
  • Farm Bureau v Hore, et al, unpublished per curiam opinion of the Court of Appeals, issued 8/20/20 (Docket No. 347918): obtained affirmance of lower court ruling granting summary disposition in favor of Farm Bureau on the position that it owed no coverage with respect to the accident because the vehicle at issue was being used to transport passengers for a fee and therefore the business-use exclusion of the policy applied.
  • Leslie v Auto-Owner and Auto-Owners v Leslie and Lapeer Regional Medical Center, Macomb County Circuit Court, Hon. J. Maceroni, Case No. 16-3640-NF: obtained summary disposition and judgment in its favor on claim that Auto-Owners wrongfully paid medical benefits to Lapeer Regional Medical Center for a c-diff infection that was not causally related to the accident pursuant to McPherson v McPherson. Obtained reimbursement for Auto-Owners of approximately $40,000.
  • Home-Owners Ins Co v Cherokee and Atlantic Specialty Insurance Company, Ingham County Circuit Court, Case No. 18-710-CK, Hon J. Jamo: obtained summary disposition and judgment that insurer of trucking company was higher priority insurer than personal auto carrier pursuant to MCL 500.3114(3). Obtained reimbursement for Home-Owners.
  • Kelley v Home-Owners Ins Co, unpublished opinion per curiam of the Court of Appeals, issued June 28, 2018 (Docket No. 334778): Court of Appeals reversed a judgment after trial in favor of the plaintiff on the basis that trial court erred by preventing Home-Owners from arguing a fraud policy exclusion to the jury. The Court of Appeals remanded the case back for a re-trial with the issue of fraud. Before trial plaintiff agreed to dismiss their case.
  • Ahmed v Farm Bureau, Wayne County Circuit Court, Case No. 19-007808-NF, Hon. Gillis: obtained summary disposition on basis that plaintiff made false representations in pursuit of his claim for no-fault benefits. This ruling also resulted in the dismissal of several provider suits based on the same accident which totaled over $100,000 in potential claims.
  • Newman v Seibold, unpublished opinion of the Court of Appeals, issued 1/22/19 (Docket No. 340733): obtained summary disposition on basis that plaintiff could not meet tort threshold. This ruling was affirmed on appeal.
  • Johnson v Delta Square, Ingham County Circuit Court, Hon. Jamo: obtained summary disposition on basis that the icy sidewalk was open and obvious.
  • Cervenak v Nawroki, Ingham County Circuit Court, Hon. Clinton Canady: obtained summary disposition on the basis that plaintiff could not meet tort threshold.
  • Crowley v McNamara, Ingham County Circuit Court, Hon. Rosemarie Aquilina: obtained no-cause verdict in third-party automobile negligence action.
  • Singer v Auto-Owners, Van Buren District Court: obtained no-cause of action in life insurance case. Convinced a jury that life insurance premium was mailed in after the grace period and therefore the life insurance policy was not in effect at the time of death.
  • Consumers Energy v Do It Rite, Eaton County District Court: obtained no-cause of action in claim for violation of Miss Dig Act and negligence relating to a directional boring job. Miss Dig claim was dismissed on directed verdict based on admissions obtained on cross examination from Consumers Energy representative. A jury determined that defendant was not negligent.
  • Insurance Institute of Michigan Seminar 2014: “First Contact with Claimant: Important Questions.”
  • Insurance Institute of Michigan Seminar 2015: “Defending the Adjustor Deposition,” Nelson, Breen
  • Insurance Institute of Michigan Seminar 2016: “Making the Most of IMEs.”
  • Insurance Institute of Michigan Seminar 2017: “Competing Coordination Clauses: Who Pays?”
  • Insurance Institute of Michigan Seminar 2018: “Fraud Caselaw Update.”
  • Insurance Institute Michigan Seminar 2018: “Out-of-State PIP/Jankowski,” Nelson, Hillock
  • Insurance Institute of Michigan Seminar 2019: “Medical Reimbursements Ahead of Fee Schedule.”
  • Insurance Institute of Michigan Seminar 2019: “Changes to 3151: A New Era?” Nelson, Maciowski
  • Insurance Institute of Michigan Seminar 2020: “Trends in Open and Obvious,” Nelson, Birn
  • Insurance Institute of Michigan Seminar 2020: “Utilization Review: Into the Unknown,” Nelson, Langford.

Webinar 2020: “Provider and Payer Perspectives on No-Fault Reform,” Oostema, Nelson and Birn

Admissions

  • New York
  • Michigan
  • Eastern District of Michigan
  • Western District of Michigan
  • Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals
  • U.S. Supreme Court

Awards

Education

  • Michigan State University (B.A. 2002)
  • Syracuse University College of Law (J.D. Cum Laude 2005)