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Newton v Auto Club Insurance Association; (COA-UNP, 8/11/1992; RB #1560)


Michigan Court of Appeals; Docket No. 131643; Unpublished   
Judges Sawyer, Murphy, and Borrello; Unanimous; Per Curiam  
Official Michigan Reporter Citation:  Not Applicable; Link to Opinion alt  

Definition of Motor Vehicle (General) [§3101(2)(e)]  
Entitlement to No-Fault PIP Benefits: Bodily Injury Requirement [§3105(1)]  
Entitlement to PIP Benefits: Motor Vehicle Involvement [§3105(1)]  
Exclusion for Parked Vehicles Covered by Workers Comp [§3106(2)]

Workers Disability Compensation Act (MCL 418.1, et seq.)   

In this unanimous per curiam unpublished Opinion, the Court of Appeals affirmed the lower court determination that plaintiff was not entitled to no-fault benefits as a result of injuries he sustained when another vehicle struck a nearly completed vehicle upon which he was working in the course of his employment on the assembly line. The court determined that the injury did not arise out of the ownership, operation, maintenance or use of a motor vehicle, because there was no causal connection between the use of the motor vehicle and the injury. Here the involvement of the car to the injury was not directly related to the car's character as a motor vehicle. In this case, the accident arose from two cars being completed in the assembly line process. The injury is related to the assembly of cars and not the use of the cars as motor vehicles. Consequently, plaintiff is not entitled to no-fault benefits under §3105(1).  

It should be noted that the court denied benefits, even though it did conclude that the car was a "motor vehicle" within the meaning of §3101(2)(e) because it was a completed vehicle with the exception of adjustment of the headlights. 

It should also be noted that the Court of Appeals addressed the issue of whether or not plaintiff was precluded from benefits under the provisions of §3106(2)(a) which restricts recovery for injuries sustained involving parked vehicles where workers' compensation benefits are payable. The court held that the provisions of §3106(2)(a) did not clearly preclude no-fault benefits in this case, where the injury did arise from the use or operation of another vehicle. 

In spite of its rulings on the issue of parked vehicle and definition of a motor vehicle, the Court of Appeals, however, held that plaintiff was not entitled to benefits because the injury did not arise out of the ownership, operation, maintenance or use of a motor vehicle as a motor vehicle.  

Lansing car accident lawyer Stephen Sinas is the lead editor of the appellate case summaries published on this site regarding the Michigan auto insurance law. To learn more about how Stephen Sinas and how the Sinas Dramis Law Firm can help you if you have been injured in a Michigan auto accident, visit

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