of Appellate Courts
Randall D. B. Tigue, Randall Tigue Law Office, P.A., Fridley,
Minnesota, for appellant.
Matthew D. Lutz, Eden Prairie, Minnesota, for respondent
American Family Insurance Company.
Michael J. Weber, Weber & Nelson Law Office, PLLC,
Minneapolis, Minnesota, for amici curiae Center for
Diagnostic Imaging, Minnesota Chiropractic Association,
American Chiropractic Association, Minnesota Ambulatory
Surgery Center Association, Twin Cities Orthopedics, and
Minnesota Medical Group Management Association.
O. Thornsjo, Lance D. Meyer, O'Meara, Leer, Wagner &
Kohl, P.A., Minneapolis, Minnesota, for amici curiae The
Insurance Federation of Minnesota and The Property Casualty
Insurers Association of America.
Jennifer E. Olson, TSR Injury Law, Bloomington, Minnesota,
for amicus curiae Minnesota Association for Justice.
Charles J. Lloyd, Livgard & Lloyd PLLP, Minneapolis,
Minnesota, for amicus curiae Minnesota Glass Association.
district court had subject matter jurisdiction over the case
because the issue presented was a question of law.
anti-assignment clause in an automobile insurance policy
prohibits the assignments the policyholders made to their
GILDEA, Chief Justice.
issue in this case is the enforceability of an
anti-assignment clause in an automobile insurance policy.
Respondent American Family Insurance Company (American
Family) issued automobile insurance policies to
respondent-policyholders, who were later injured in
automobile accidents. American Family's policy contained
an anti-assignment clause, which became relevant when the
policyholders assigned their interests in basic economic loss
benefits to their medical provider, appellant Stand Up
Multipositional Advantage MRI, P.A. (Stand Up), in order to
obtain medical treatment. Stand Up sued American Family, the
policyholders, and the policyholders' attorneys for
failing to pay Stand Up directly in accordance with the
assignments. The district court, on cross-motions for summary
judgment, concluded that American Family's
anti-assignment clause was unenforceable and the assignments
to Stand Up were valid. The court of appeals reversed,
determining that American Family's anti-assignment clause
was valid and that it prohibited the assignments to Stand Up.
Because we conclude that the anti-assignment clause precludes
the assignments, we affirm.
action began after respondents Tiffani Mazzie, Prisly
Arredondo Cerna, and Teri Baker (collectively,
"policyholders") were injured in separate car
accidents. The policyholders had insurance through
American Family and the policies contained an anti-assignment
clause, which stated that "[i]nterest in this policy may
be assigned only with [American Family's] written
consent." The parties agree that American Family did not
consent to the assignments at issue.
order to obtain medical treatment, the policyholders assigned
their rights and benefits under their policies to Stand Up.
Stand Up provides magnetic resonance imaging scans at a
clinic in Golden Valley. Before providing imaging services,
Stand Up required each policyholder to execute a form
entitled, "Authorization and Irrevocable Assignment of
Insurance Benefits for Direct Payments by My Payers to Stand
Up, PA." The third paragraph of the assignment began:
I hereby assign to [Stand Up] to the extent permitted by law,
but only to the extent of my Charges, all of my rights,
remedies, and benefits related to any Payer, including
without limit a primary, non-contingent right to receive
Proceeds from any Payer, now or in the future, and any and
all causes of action that I might have against any Payer now
or in the future, the right to prosecute such causes of
action either in my name or in [Stand ...