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Daubenspeck v Automobile Club of Michigan; (COA-UNP, 3/7/1989; RB #1240)


Michigan Court of Appeals; Docket No. 106352; Unpublished  
Judges Danhof, Beasley, and MacKenzie; Unanimous; 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: Transportational Function Requirement [§3105(1)]

Not Applicable    

In this unanimous per curiam Opinion, the Court of Appeals affirmed summary disposition in favor of defendant, holding that plaintiffs injuries did not arise out of the "maintenance" of a motor vehicle, when he slipped and fell on ice while in the process of refueling his car.

Plaintiff had stopped at a self-service gas station, and after finishing pumping his gas, but before replacing the gas cap, slipped and fell on ice between his car and the gas pump.

Citing §3105(1), the court held that coverage should be provided only where the causal connection between the injury and the maintenance or use of a motor vehicle as a motor vehicle is more than "incidental, fortuitous, or but for."

In this case, the court held that plaintiff’s injuries arose from his slip and fall and that their connection to the vehicle was merely fortuitous. Even assuming that the act of refueling constitutes maintenance, the connection between the act of pumping gas and plaintiff’s slip and fall was merely incidental, fortuitous, or "but for." Plaintiff was injured by losing his footing on a patch of ice, an injury which "could just as well have occurred elsewhere," not by the act of refueling an automobile. Therefore, the Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court grant of summary disposition in favor of defendant.

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