Thomas S. Baker

  • Tom Baker Attorney Grand Rapids Michigan

ContactThomas S. Baker

Tom Baker is a member of Miller Johnson and has been practicing law since 1996. Mr. Baker specializes in Michigan no-fault law and represents a wide variety of business entities, including hospitals and physician groups in that context. Before joining Miller Johnson, Mr. Baker was employed by one of the state’s largest insurance defense firms where he gained first chair trial experience.

Health Care Reimbursement
Mr. Baker is a member of Miller Johnson’s Health Care Provider Reimbursement Practice Group. Mr. Baker counsels and represents hospitals and physician groups in recovering payment for medical services from no-fault insurance companies. His expertise is in obtaining insurance reimbursement for patient accounts.

Mr. Baker has successfully litigated numerous no-fault cases against insurance companies on issues such as intentional-act exclusions, priority disputes, medical necessity and medical relatedness. In addition to recovering unpaid and overdue medical charges on behalf of his health care provider clients, Mr. Baker has recovered penalties, including attorney fees and interest, often. The penalties he has collected have often exceeded the underlying claim. Since joining Miller Johnson, Mr. Baker has taken more than a dozen cases to trial including :

  • Covenant Medical Center and Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital v Home Owners Insurance Company – Huron County Circuit Court No. 13-105217-NF
    A patient was involved in a serious one car motor-vehicle accident on July 23, 2012. At the time of the accident, the patient was 15 years old and driving, contrary to Michigan law, without a parent in the car. The issue was whether the patient had her parents’ permission to take their car on the date of the accident. If she had taken the vehicle without permission, she would be barred from no-fault benefits under the Michigan No-fault Act. Trial lasted three days and the jury deliberated two hours before determining that defendant failed to meet its burden of proof that the patient did not have permission to take the vehicle on the date of the accident.  The patient’s estate was awarded $246,897 and intervening plaintiffs Covenant Medical Center, Inc. and Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital, represented by Mr. Baker, were awarded $1,018,467.
  • Covenant Medical Center v Grange Insurance Company – Saginaw County Circuit Court Case #13-020288-NF-5
    Defendant denied the claim of an accident victim asserting his cervical problems resulted from a pre-existing degenerative process and not the motor vehicle accident.  After a four-day trial in Saginaw County Circuit Court, the jury returned a unanimous verdict for plaintiff Covenant Medical Center in the amount of $60,633. Covenant was subsequently awarded an additional $63,904 in case evaluation sanctions, for a total award of $124,537.
  • Bronson v Home Owners – Kalamazoo County Circuit Case# A08-0640-NF
    This case involving the intentional act exclusion of the Michigan No-Fault Act. Patient treated by Bronson fell asleep at wheel and struck a tree after taking an overdose of prescription medication.  Defendant Home Owners denied claim asserting that the accident and the injuries sustained were intentional, thus barring no fault coverage.  After a two day trial, the jury returned a unanimous verdict for Bronson.  Bronson’s charges of $53,863.83 were paid in full.  A post-verdict motion resulted in Bronson being awarded an additional $82,039.75 in case evaluation and no fault penalties for a total award of $135,903.58.

Appellate Practice

Mr. Baker has argued before the Court of Appeals and was directly involved in two recently published opinions that were very favorable for his provider clients.

  • Covenant Medical Center v State Farm Mutual Insurance Company – Saginaw County Circuit Court Case #13-020416-NF
    Baker argued in both the trial court and the Michigan Court of Appeals in this very important case for providers. This published decision recognized the rights of the providers to bring their own claims under the No-Fault Act.

This case is pending before the Michigan Supreme Court with oral arguments expected in 2017.

  • Bronson Methodist Hospital v Titan Insurance Company – Kalamazoo Circuit Court Case #14-001-NF
    Baker argued this case in the Kalamazoo Circuit Court and oversaw the court of appeals argument that resulted in a published decision not only confirming that providers, as claimants under the no-fault act are entitled to mandatory penalty interest, but that the insurers refusal to pay that interest is sanctionable.