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Smith v Community Service Insurance Company; (COA-UNP, 3/19/1982; RB #512)


Michigan Court of Appeals; Docket No. 56233; Unpublished  
Judges R. B. Burns, Walsh, and MacKenzie; Unanimous  
Official Michigan Reporter Citation: Not Applicable; Link to Opinion alt    

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

Not Applicable    

In this unanimous opinion, the Court of Appeals reversed the trial court and awarded no-fault benefits to a plaintiff who was injured while riding on an inner tube which was being towed by a rope by a motor vehicle down a road. As the vehicle was driving down the road, the inner tube was swerving from side to side, went up over a bank of plowed snow, flipped over and caused injury to the plaintiff.

The Court held that under §3105(1) a sufficient causal connection between the injury and the operation of the motor vehicle was established. The Court noted that in this case, "The motor vehicle itself was the instrumentality of the plaintiff’s injury." The fact that it may not have been contemplated that the operator of the motor vehicle would pull someone in an inner tube over a snow covered road, or the fact that such conduct was illegal, is no defense to coverage under the Act. Therefore, plaintiff established the requisite causal nexus to recover benefits.

Lansing car accident lawyer 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

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