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American Empire Surplus Lines Insurance Company v Michigan Mutual Insurance Company and United Ambulance Service, Inc.; (COA-UNP, 8/9/1996; RB #1869)


Michigan Court of Appeals; Docket No. 177206; Unpublished  
Judges Neff, Jansen, and Steeh; Unanimous; Per Curiam 
Official Michigan Reporter Citation:  Not Applicable; Link to Opinion alt   

Exception for Loading / Unloading [§3106(1)(b)]  
Entitlement to PIP Benefits: Arising Out of / Causation Requirement [§3105(1)]

Not Applicable   

In this unanimous unpublished per curiam Opinion, the Court of Appeals interpreted the parked vehicle exclusion exception set forth in §3106(l)(b) and found that benefits were not payable under this provision. This case involved serious injury to a woman who was being carried on a stretcher down a flight of steps in her apartment building by ambulance drivers who were summoned to the patient's apartment The ambulance drivers stopped the ambulance in front of the apartment, turned off the siren and left the engine running. They went to the patient's apartment, placed her on a stretcher, and began carrying her down a flight of steps. While still on the stairs, and before reaching the ambulance, the stretcher broke and the patient fell and was injured. The liability insurer for the ambulance company settled the patient's liability claim and then sued defendant's Michigan Mutual alleging that it was liable under §3105(1) to pay no-fault PIP benefits because of accidental bodily injury arising out of the ownership, operation, maintenance or use of the motor vehicle. Furthermore, plaintiff American Empire argued that the claim was proper under §3106(1)(b) of the parked vehicle exclusions. This section permits recovery of benefits where an injury was a direct result of physical contact with equipment permanently mounted on the vehicle while the equipment was being operated or used or property being lifted onto or lowered from the vehicle in the loading or unloading process. The court found that this section did not apply to this case. Clearly, the stretcher was not being lifted onto the vehicle at the time the injury occurred. Previous precedent has established that §3106(l)(b) extends coverage only "if the injury results while the item is actually being lifted into the vehicle.... Thus, where as here, mere preparations are being made to lift the object into the vehicle, the exception to the exclusion in §3106(1) does not apply."

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