56-1 District Court, City of Hastings, Barry County; Docket No. 94-GC-0309;
Judge Gary R. Holman; Unpublished
Official Michigan Reporter Citation: Not Applicable; Link to Opinion
In this written Opinion by Judge Holman, the District Court determined that plaintiff was entitled to no-fault benefits from her insurance company, and that her injuries arose out of the operation of a motor vehicle under the circumstances of a case where plaintiff fell as she stepped off the paved portion of the roadway in response to an oncoming vehicle.
Plaintiff was a pedestrian walking on the left side of Thornapple Lake Road facing traffic. No sidewalks were provided in that location, and as she walked, she observed two vehicles approaching and concluded that she and the two vehicles could not safely use the traveled portion of the two-lane roadway, and in response, plaintiff stepped off the paved portion of the roadway and fractured her ankle.
The court concluded that under Bromley v Citizens Insurance Company of America, 113 Mich App 131 (1982) and Bradley v Detroit Automobile Inter-Insurance Exchange, 130 Mich App 34 (1983), two motorcycle cases, the appellate courts of this state recognized that injury is foreseeably identifiable when a cyclist alters lawful use of the roadway to accommodate the use of that same roadway by a motor vehicle. In the present case, the court held that it appears that the vehicle approaching the plaintiff-pedestrian was proceeding in a manner foreseeably identifiable with the normal use of a motor vehicle. The normal use of the vehicle caused plaintiff to react by stepping off the pavement into the depression and injuring her ankle. The court found that there was no reason to conclude that the means of propulsion, whether a motorcycle, automobile, bicycle or on foot affects the causal nexus. Focusing upon the relationship between injury and the use of the motor vehicle as a motor vehicle, the court found that there was a causal nexus and plaintiff was entitled to no-fault benefits.