Michigan Court of Appeals; Docket No. 69520; Published
Judges MacKenzie, Gillis, and Fitzgerald; Unanimous
Official Michigan Reporter Citation: 138 Mich App 520; Link to Opinion
Compulsory Insurance Requirements for Owners or Registrants Of Motor Vehicles Required to Be Registered [§3101(1)]
Obligation of Non-Resident Owner/Registrant to Insure a Vehicle [§3102(1)]
Entitlement to PIP Benefits: Arising Out of / Causation Requirement [§3105(1)]
General Rule of Priority [§3114(1)]
Exception for Employer Provided Vehicles [§3114(3)]
In this unanimous Opinion by Judge MacKenzie, the Court of Appeals made two significant holdings regarding the payment of no-fault first party benefits in situations involving employees injured in connection with the use of employer vehicles.
First, relying on the Supreme Court's opinion in Lee v DAIIE (item number 489) and the Court of Appeals decision in Becker v Wolverine Insurance (item number 497), the Court held that an employee injured while occupying a vehicle furnished by his employer is entitled to recover PIP benefits from the employee's private automobile policy where mere was no applicable insurance on the employer's vehicle. Where there is no insurance covering the employer's vehicle, the priority provisions of §3114(3) become inapplicable and the injured person may turn to his own private no-fault policy.
Second, the Court held that the fact an employer's vehicle was not subject to the mandatory insurance and registration requirements of §3101(1) and §3102(1) does not mean that the injured employee is not entitled to recover no-fault benefits from the employer or his no-fault insurer. On the contrary, the Supreme Court clearly indicated in the Lee, supra opinion mat no-fault benefits are payable without regard to whether the vehicle involved is required to be registered or insured under the statute. Because of the rationale utilized in the Lee Opinion, the previous Court of Appeals decision in Covington v Interstate System (item number 161) has been repudiated.
Therefore, whether the vehicle involved is one for which no-fault insurance was required under §3101(1) or §3102(1) has no bearing on whether plaintiff is entitled to no-fault benefits under §3105(1) from his employer as self-insurer of the vehicle.