This opinion will be unpublished and

may not be cited except as provided by

Minn. Stat.§ 480A.08, subd. 3 (1996).

STATE OF MINNESOTA

IN COURT OF APPEALS

C8-96-1539

Auto-Owners Insurance Company,

Respondent,

vs.

Mokhtar Makhloufi,

Appellant.

Filed December 31, 1996

Affirmed

Kalitowski, Judge

Hennepin County District Court

File No. 9518705

Christopher A. Nelson, Pustorino, Pederson, Tilton & Parrington, P.A., 4005 West 65th Street, Suite 200, Minneapolis, MN 55435-1765 (for Respondent)

James S. Ballentine, David J. Moskal, Schwebel, Goetz, Sieben & Moskal, P.A., 5120 IDS Center, Minneapolis, MN 55402-2246 (for Appellant)

Considered and decided by Kalitowski, Presiding Judge, Crippen, Judge, and Harten, Judge.

U N P U B L I S H E D O P I N I O N

KALITOWSKI, Judge

Mokhtar Makhloufi challenges the district court's determinations that: (1) he impermissibly split his no-fault claim; and (2) the arbitrator exceeded his authority by stating Makhloufi could renew his wage loss claim after the hearing was closed. He also challenges the grant of an injunction as a remedy for violating the rule against splitting a no-fault claim. We affirm.

D E C I S I O N

On appeal from summary judgment, we ask whether there are any genuine issues of material fact and whether the lower courts erred in their application of the law. State by Cooper v. French, 460 N.W.2d 2, 4 (Minn. 1990). The reviewing court must view the evidence in the light most favorable to the party against whom judgment was granted. Fabio v. Bellomo, 504 N.W.2d 758, 761 (Minn. 1993).

I.

Makhloufi argues the district court erred in deciding that Makhloufi split his no-fault claim when he dismissed without prejudice his wage loss claim while proceeding to arbitrate his claim for medical expenses. The district court, in making its decision, relied on Charboneau v. American Family Ins. Co., 481 N.W.2d 19 (Minn. 1992). In Charboneau, the claimant filed two petitions for arbitration. In the first petition, she claimed medical expenses of $548; in the second, she claimed a wage loss of $5,000. Id. at 20. One of the issues in Charboneau was whether a claimant is permitted to "split her medical expenses and wage loss to meet the statutory jurisdictional limit." Id. at 21. The court held that "a no-fault claim may not be divided." Id. The court stated, "splitting a no-fault claim depreciates the legislature's decision to set a jurisdictional limit." Id. It further stated that the practice of splitting claims defeats the purposes of decreasing litigation expense and simplifying litigation intended by the No-Fault Act. Id.

Here, Makhloufi filed a single petition, seeking to recover claims for both medical expenses and lost wages. Makhloufi sought to dismiss his wage loss claim because his witness failed to appear. Makhloufi argues that because he did not dismiss his claim for the purpose of splitting his medical expenses and wage losses to meet the jurisdictional limit, Charboneau should not apply to bar his claim. We disagree.

The supreme court, in ruling that a no-fault claim may not be divided, did not limit its ruling to the facts of Charboneau. In addition to eliminating manipulation of jurisdictional limites, the rule against splitting no-fault claims also avoids a multiplicity of lawsuits and wasteful litigation. Id. Given the broad holding in Charboneau, we conclude the district court did not err in deciding Makhloufi impermissibly split his no-fault claim when he sought and obtained a dismissal without prejudice of his claim for lost wages, and proceeded to arbitrate his claim for medical expenses.

Makhloufi also argues the district court erred in deciding he withdrew his wage loss claim at the arbitration hearing. He contends he asked for a continuance, not a dismissal, of his wage loss claim. However, the arbitrator's award and his letter to the senior case administrator indicate otherwise. In the award, the arbitrator stated "CLAIMANT requested to withdraw his claim for wage loss without prejudice or dismiss without prejudice." In his letter to the senior case administrator, the arbitrator clarified his award by saying that "the wage [loss] claim was withdrawn without prejudice." We conclude the record supports the district court's finding that Makhloufi withdrew his wage loss claim at the arbitration hearing.

II.

Makhloufi argues the district court erred in deciding that the arbitrator exceeded his authority by stating Makhloufi could renew his wage loss claim after the hearing was closed. Citing Minn. R. No-Fault Arb. 25 and 28, Makhloufi asserts the arbitrator, in requiring him to renew his wage loss claim within 60 days of the award, merely extended the time for the wage loss claim. We disagree.

Pursuant to arbitration rules, "the arbitrator may for good cause extend any period of time established by these rules, except the time for making the award." Minn. R. No-Fault Arb. 28. Here, the arbitrator did not extend the time for Makhloufi's wage loss claim. Rather, he dismissed the claim and gave Makhloufi the option to renew it within 60 days of the award. Makhloufi's no-fault claim was closed on July 17, 1995, as evidenced by the senior case administrator's letter to the parties which stated: "[t]he hearings in the above matter were declared closed on July 17, 1995, by the direction of the arbitrator." In compliance with Minn. R. No-Fault Arb. 30, the arbitrator issued his award within 30 days from the date of closing the hearing. We conclude the district court did not err in determining the arbitrator exceeded his authority when he purported to grant Makhloufi an option to renew his wage loss claim after the hearing was closed.

III.

The district court vacated the language in the award granting Makhloufi the option to renew his wage loss claim within 60 days, and granted Auto-Owners a permanent injunction prohibiting Makhloufi from seeking arbitration of lost wages incurred prior to July 17, 1995. Makhloufi argues the district court abused its discretion in granting the injunction. We disagree. It is implicit in Charboneau that injunction is an appropriate remedy for violating the rule against splitting no-fault claims. Therefore, we conclude the district court did not abuse its discretion.

Affirmed.