Injured? Contact Sinas Dramis for a free consultation.


Wills v State Farm Insurance Companies; (COA-UNP, 3/9/1989; RB #1243)


Michigan Court of Appeals; Docket No. 105108; Unpublished    
Judges Sawyer, Beasley, and Gilbert; 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)]    
Exclusion for Vehicles Considered Parked [§3106(1)]  
Exception for Unreasonably Parked Vehicles [§3106(1)(a)]  
Causal Connection Requirement [§3106]    
Nature of Survivor’s Loss Benefits [§3108(1)]

Not Applicable     

In this unanimous per curiam Opinion, the Court of Appeals affirmed the entry of summary disposition in favor of defendant State Farm in a case where plaintiff’s decedent was killed when the snowmobile on which he was a passenger struck a parked automobile on the shoulder of the road.

Plaintiff’s husband was a passenger on a snowmobile being operated by another man. The snowmobile collided with an unoccupied automobile parked on the shoulder of the road. The automobile was facing southbound on the shoulder of the northbound lane. The plaintiff claimed that the vehicle was "parked in such a way as to cause unreasonable risk of the bodily injury which occurred" within the meaning of §3106(l)(a), because it was facing oncoming traffic and because its lights were not on at nighttime in violation of statutory requirements that vehicles "upon a highway" have their lights on at night.

In finding that summary disposition in defendant's favor was correct, the court held that even if the court were to conclude that the vehicle was parked so as to create an unreasonable risk of bodily injury, nevertheless the plaintiff must also show that the injury "arose out of the use of a motor vehicle as a motor vehicle." Here, as Autry v Allstate Insurance (Item No. 687), the court found nothing to distinguish the automobile, involved in the accident from any other stationary roadside object such as a tree, sign post or boulder. There was nothing about the automobile as an automobile that would bear on the accident. The court felt that compensation under the No-Fault Act would be inappropriate in this instance, and affirmed the grant of summary disposition in favor of defendant.

[Editor's Note: The author respectfully suggests that the dicta in the court's decision that plaintiff’s injury did not arise out of the use of a motor vehicle is incorrect. A holding that an injury arising out of ownership, operation or use of a parked vehicle does not allow for recovery of no-fault benefits, even when the vehicle was parked in such a way as to cause unreasonable risk of the bodily injury which occurred would render the provisions of §3106( 1 )(a) meaningless.]

Michigan auto accident attorney 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

Copyright © 2024  Sinas Dramis Law Firm, George Sinas, Stephen Sinas.
All Rights Reserved.
Login (Publishers Only)