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Krolikowski v Auto Club Insurance Association; (COA-UNP, 3/8/1993; RB #1600)


Michigan Court of Appeals; Docket Nos. 133558 and 136457; Unpublished  
Judges Weaver, Wahls, and Taylor; Per Curiam  
Official Michigan Reporter Citation:  Not Applicable; Link to Opinion alt   

Entitlement to PIP Benefits: Arising Out of / Causation Requirement [§3105(1)]  
Entitlement to PIP Benefits: Motor Vehicle Involvement [§3105(1)]  
Bona Fide Factual Uncertainty / Statutory Construction Defense [§3148]

Legislative Purpose and Intent   

In this per curiam unpublished Opinion, the Court of Appeals held that pursuant to §3105, plaintiff's injuries arose out of the use of a motor home as a motor vehicle, and therefore, was entitled to recover first party no-fault benefits arising from injuries plaintiff received when a stove in the motor home exploded.

Plaintiff drove the motor home to a campground and connected it to water and electrical outlets. The motor home later exploded, causing plaintiff severe injuries. The explosion occurred after plaintiff opened the stove's valve and attempted to light the stove's pilot light. Auto Club denied the claim for personal injury protection benefits on the ground that the motor home was being used as a residence at the time of the loss, and not as a motor home.  

The Court of Appeals upheld the trial court's determination that plaintiff was entitled to personal injury protection benefits. When a parked vehicle is equipped with a bed and stove and has a dual purpose of being a recreational vehicle, the injury of the occupant from the stove constitutes a normal use of the vehicle as a motor vehicle for its intended purpose. The court held that plaintiff’s injuries flowed from an activity that was inherent and a permanent part of the operation of plaintiff's particular type of vehicle. The court relied on the holdings in Engwis v Michigan Mutual Insurance Company (Item No. 1311) and Koole v Michigan Mutual Insurance Company (Item No. 646) in support of its decision.   

In a related issue, the Court of Appeals reversed the trial court order granting plaintiff attorney fees under the no-fault act, §3148. Defendant Auto Club argued that a legitimate question of statutory interpretation existed with regard to whether plaintiff's injuries occurred when his vehicle was being used as a motor vehicle, within the meaning of §3105(1). The Court of Appeals agreed, and held that the defendant was pursuing a legitimate legal issue concerning the dual purpose doctrine and should not be penalized for doing so.  

Given its determination on the issue of attorney fees, the court did not reach an additional issue with regard to whether or not plaintiff was entitled to duplicate attorney fees under the no-fault act and the mediation sanctions rule.  

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