Michigan Court of Appeals; Docket No. 97329; Published
Judges Cynar, Weaver and Hausner; Unanimous
Official Michigan Reporter Citation: 170 Mich App 583; Link to Opinion
Entitlement to PIP Benefits: Arising Out of / Causation Requirement [§3105(1)]
In this unanimous Opinion by Judge Weaver, the Court of Appeals reversed a summary disposition for defendant, and held that plaintiff’s injuries arose out of the use of a motor vehicle when she was struck by stray gunfire.
Plaintiff was driving her car on a road next to a field on the opening day of deer hunting season, when a deer ran onto the road. Plaintiff slowed her vehicle to avoid a collision with the deer, and nearby hunters shot at the deer. Stray bullets passed through the door of the car, severely injuring plaintiff.
The Court of Appeals held that the circumstances gave rise to more than an "incidental, fortuitous or but for" causal connection between plaintiff’s injuries and the ownership, maintenance or use of her vehicle. Consequently, the trial court grant of summary disposition was reversed.