Western National Insurance Co. v. Thompson

Appellants Bruce and Cindy Thompson filed a claim for basic economic loss benefits against their insurer, Respondent Western National Insurance Company (Western National), arising from injuries they sustained in an automobile accident. Western National paid some benefits, but a dispute arose over the Thompsonsâ obligation to submit to examinations requested by Western National. The Thompsons filed for no-fault arbitration, and Western National moved to stay the arbitration in order to seek a declaratory judgment in the district court. The arbitrator entered awards in favor of the Thompsons. In court, Western National moved for summary judgment, and the Thompsons moved to confirm their awards. The district court denied Western Nationalâs motion and confirmed the awards, concluding that the reasonableness of the Thompsonsâ refusal to attend the examinations was an issue handled by the arbitrator. The appellate court reversed, concluding that the examination question was a question of law for the court to decide. The Supreme Court reversed the appellate court, holding that the examination issue was a question of fact for the arbitrator. The Court reinstated the arbitration awards in favor of the Thompsons.