Michigan Court of Appeals; Docket No. 105164; Unpubished
Judges Danhof, Beasley, and MacKenzie; Unanimous; Per Curiam
Official Michigan Reporter Citation: Not Applicable; Link to Opinion
In this published per curiam Opinion, the Court of Appeals unanimously reversed the entry of summary disposition in favor of defendant in a case involving interpretation of the "employer-owned" vehicle exception of §3114(3).
In this priority dispute case, plaintiff’s insured was killed in a motor vehicle accident while an occupant of a vehicle owned and operated by defendant's insured. Plaintiff’s insured was an employee of defendant's insured, but the occasion for her occupying the vehicle was a mere "social dinner date."
The trial court held that the decedent's insurance company was obligated to pay survivors' loss benefits and granted defendant's motion for summary disposition.
Under the provisions of §3114, an employee who suffers accidental bodily injury while an occupant of a motor vehicle owned or registered by the employer, shall receive personal protection insurance benefits from the insurer of the furnished vehicle. The defendant argued that this statutory exception did not apply to the facts of this case since the vehicle had not been "furnished" to her by her employer.
In reversing the trial court's decision in favor of defendant, the Court of Appeals noted that it was undisputed that plaintiffs insured suffered injury "while an occupant of a motor vehicle owned or registered by the employer." To the extent that the trial court determined that the vehicle had not been "furnished," this was error. Further, the statute expressly provides for recovery from the employer's insurer by mere occupancy of the vehicle, and the fact that the parties were on a social rather than a business outing is "beside the point."