The Michigan Court of Appeals, in Windrush, Inc v Vanpopering, Case No. 315958 (June 19, 2014), concluded that a plaintiff can maintain an action for statutory conversion stemming from a defendant’s alleged violation of the Michigan Builders’ Trust Fund Act (MBTFA).
The appellate court observed that nothing in the MBTFA indicates a legislative attempt to fashion an exclusive remedy for a trust fund violation, quite the contrary.
Similarly, when drafting MCL 600.2919a, the Michigan Legislature provided that a statutory conversion claim can be made “in addition to any other right or remedy” provided by law or otherwise.
Therefore, while claims for the conversion of money – as would be the case when combining a claim under MBTFA with §2919a – are often difficult to prove given the unique evidentiary hurdles §2919a mandates, the Windrush decision makes clear such a claim is wholly permitted and is in keeping with the remedial provisions of the MBTFA.
Matthew J. Boettcher is a partner in the firm’s Bloomfield Hills office and Co-leader of Plunkett Cooney’s Commercial Litigation Practice Group. He concentrates his practice in the area of commercial litigation with ...
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