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Sanford v Insurance Company of North America, et al; (COA-PUB, 5/19/1986; RB #918)


Michigan Court of Appeals; Docket No. 85249; Published  
Opinion by Judge Shepherd; Unanimous; Per Curiam  
Official Michigan Reporter Citation: 151 Mich App 747; Link to Opinion alt    

Entitlement to PIP Benefits: Arising Out of / Causation Requirement [§3105(1)]  
Entitlement to PIP Benefits: Motor Vehicle Involvement [§3105(1)]

Not Applicable    

In this unanimous Opinion by Judge Shepherd, the Court of Appeals, relying upon the earlier decision in Peck v Auto- Owners Ins Co (Item No. 491), ruled that a passenger on a motorcycle injured in an accident which occurred while the operator of the cycle was fleeing from police, was not entitled to recover no-fault benefits under the no-fault statute. The passenger, contending that he was an "innocent party" in the cyclist's attempts to avoid police, sought benefits from the no-fault insurers of the police cruisers involved in the chase. Judge Shepherd wrote that the "involvement of a police cruiser in these circumstances is merely fortuitous, and that the accident here, as in Peck, arose from the act of flight from the police rather than the police use of a vehicle. As in Peck, the accident in the present case would have been equally likely to occur had the police been pursuing plaintiff on a motorcycle, in a helicopter, or on horseback. The fact that a plaintiff was a passenger on the motorcycle, rather than the driver, and the fact that he might have been 'innocent,' are irrelevant. Under the no-fault act, the issue is not guilt or innocence, but rather whether one fits within the protected class."

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