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Thornton v Allstate; (GCC-UNP, 9/23/1982; RB #597)

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Genesee County Circuit Court; Docket No. 79-54036-NI; Unpublished  
Judge Philip Elliott; Written Opinion  
Official Michigan Reporter Citation: Not Applicable; Link to Opinion alt   


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

TOPICAL INDEXING:
Not Applicable   


CASE SUMMARY:  
In this written Opinion, Judge Elliott denied defendant insurance company's Motion for Summary Judgment in a case where plaintiff sustained a gunshot wound to the neck resulting in quadriplegia when he was driving a taxicab and was assaulted by a passenger. Judge Elliott examined the causal connection rule set forth in Kangas v Aetna and found that, to the extent the rule requires an injury foreseeably identifiable with the normal use of a motor vehicle, it is in conflict with §3105(1) which merely requires that the injury arise out of the use of a vehicle. In the case at bar, Judge Elliott held that assaults and armed robberies of taxicab drivers by passengers are not an uncommon phenomena. He stated, "The robbery and shooting happens because the automobile is used as a public conveyance directed by radio to the robber at the appointed time. There is a direct causal relationship between the driving of the taxi, in its use as a common carrier, and the assault In this case, if the plaintiff had not been driving his taxi, he would not have been assaulted his injuries sustained as a result of the assault, therefore, arise out of the operation and use of the taxi as a motor vehicle." In so ruling, Judge Elliott relied upon the Court of Appeals decision in Mann v DAIIE, item number 463, and suggested that the Supreme Court speak to the issue as soon as possible.


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