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Mary Catherine Rentz

Partner

  • Licensed Since: 1981
  • Joined Firm: 1980
  • Partner Since: 1988
150 West Jefferson, Suite 800
Detroit, MI 48226
TEL: (313) 983-4856
FAX: (313) 983-4350
Areas of Practice
Honors & Awards
  • Best Lawyers in America® for Insurance Law (Copyright 2018 by Woodward/White, Inc., of Aiken, SC), 2015 - 2019
  • Leading Lawyer in Insurance, Insurance Coverage & Reinsurance Law, Leading Lawyers Magazine Michigan, 2015
  • Martindale-Hubbell’s highest rating-AV Preeminent™ Peer Review Rated
  • Michigan Super Lawyer in Insurance Coverage, Michigan Super Lawyers, a Thomson Reuters publication, 2006 - 2018
  • Top Lawyer in Insurance Law, dbusiness Magazine, 2014 - 2015, 2017 - 2018
Education
  • University of Detroit School of Law, J.D., 1981
  • Central Michigan University, B.B.A., 1978
Bar & Court Admissions
  • Michigan, 1981
  • U. S. District Court, Eastern District of Michigan, 1982
Practice-Specific Experience

A partner in the firm’s Detroit office, Mary Catherine (MC) Rentz focuses her practice on insurance-related work such as declaratory judgments and coverage opinions, as well as on no-fault law and motor vehicle litigation. She has tried cases at the district and circuit court levels in state court and in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan. She has argued before the Michigan Supreme Court and the federal Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Ms. Rentz lectures frequently on the topic of Michigan No-Fault Law to various client audiences, as well as the Institute of Continuing Legal Education and is a court-appointed case evaluator.

Representative Client Work

  • Defends insurers and self-insurers in high exposure first party no-fault cases
  • Defends insurers in coverage litigation and provides coverage opinions
  • Defends corporations and individuals in large damages motor vehicle accident cases
  • Provides pre-litigation/claims stage advice to insurers
  • Has established important caselaw for no-fault insurers

Notable Trials and Caselaw

  • Tevepaugh v Frankenmuth Mutual Insurance Company, Monroe County Circuit Court case number 08-26247 NI [No cause for action verdict as to plaintiff's claim for $106,000 in Michigan no-fault benefits and for $450,000 in underinsured motorist coverage based on jury's finding that plaintiff was not a resident of Frankenmuth's insureds' household]
  • Pearsall v Rieber, Wayne County Circuit Court case number 06-619634 NI [verdict of $48,750 as to plaintiff's claim for $7 million for closed head injury/economic damages in a motor vehicle accident; pre-trial defense offer through second day of trial of $100,000; case evaluation sanctions awarded to defendants of $100,000]
  • Walker v Enterprise Leasing Company of Detroit and Waters, Wayne County Circuit Court case number 05511794 NI [No cause for action verdict as to plaintiff’s claim for $150,000 in bicyclist/auto accident]
  • Hetrick v St. Paul Fire and Marine Insurance Company, Wayne County Circuit Court case number 01 130542 NF [No cause for action verdict as to plaintiff's claim for more than $450,000 in Michigan no-fault benefits; sanctions awarded to St. Paul of $50,000]
  • Reed v Enterprise Leasing Company of Detroit, Wayne County Circuit Court case number 00 038288 NF [No cause for action verdict as to plaintiff's claim for approximately $50,000 in Michigan no-fault benefits; sanctions awarded to Enterprise of $17,000]
  • LaCross v Continental Insurance Company, Wayne County Circuit Court case number 98 838350 NF [No cause for action verdict as to plaintiff’s claim for more than $500,000 in Michigan no-fault benefits]
  • Affourtit v Enterprise Leasing Company of Detroit, Genessee County Circuit Court consolidated case numbers 01-71461 NI and 01-71801 NF [Verdict of $601.29 as to plaintiff’s claim of more than $1,300,000 on the consolidated claims for Michigan no-fault benefits and third party auto negligence with admitted liability]
  • Wynn v State Auto, 856F. Supp.330 (ED Mich 1994) [No-fault insurer has no legal duty to advise an insured of the benefits available under a no-fault policy]
  • Lam v Arnold Brothers Transport, Ltd., United States District Court, Eastern District of Michigan, case number 96-CV-72902-DT [No cause for action verdict; plaintiff claimed closed-head injury; jury found plaintiff sustained no injury in the accident]
  • Demelis v Broadway Trucking, Inc., Wayne County Circuit Court case number 96-619046 NI [No cause for action; plaintiff injured left hip in accident, requiring hip replacement; jury found no negligence by truck driver]
  • Butzer v Bob Dusseau Lincoln Mercury, Inc., Wayne County Circuit Court case number 95-502279-NI [No cause for action; jury found no negligence by car dealer employee]
  • Berry v Cmar; United States District Court, Eastern District of Michigan, case number 97-CV-74973 [No cause for action; jury found no negligence by Canadian driver]

Professional Affiliations

  • Detroit Metropolitan Bar Association
  • State Bar of Michigan (Negligence Law and Insurance Sections)
  • Michigan Defense Trial Association

Community Involvement

  • Central Michigan University Development Board (1999 – 2011; Chair, 2002 – 2004)
  • Federalist Society, Michigan Chapter (Secretary, 1999 – 2006; Second Vice President, 2006 and 2012)
  • University of Detroit Law Alumni Association
  • University Liggett School Development Board (1995 – 2000; Chair, 2000)
  • St. Clare of Montefalco, Church Christian Service Commission (1996 – 2002 and 2010 – Present; Secretary, 1998 – 2002)
  • University of Detroit Jesuit High School, Parent Participation Fund (Committee Member, 2004 – 2005; Co-chair, 2005 – 2006 & 2006 – 2007)

Publications and Lectures

  • “Overview of No-Fault in Michigan - First Party Benefits,” author, Without Prejudice, the official journal of the Ontario Insurance Adjusters Association, April 2010
  • “Michigan No-Fault Law,” lecturer, University of Detroit Mercy School of Law, 2000 - 2006
  • “Liens in the Michigan Personal Injury Case,” author, Michigan Trial Lawyers Association publication, 2000
  • “Liens in Michigan Personal Injury Cases,” lecturer, Institute of Continuing Legal Education, 1999
  • “Construction Accident Litigation,” co-author, Lawyers Co-Operative Publishing Co., 1990
  • “Michigan Construction Accident Litigation” by Dwight G. Conger and Michael T. Lynch, editor, Lawyers Co-Operative Publishing Co., 1988

Sororities

  • Sigma Iota Epsilon
  • Phi Chi Theta
  • Sigma Sigma Sigma

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