Michigan Court of Appeals; Docket No. 63356; Published
Judges Danhof, Gillis, and Deming; Unanimous; Per Curiam
Official Michigan Reporter Citation: 123 Mich App 570; Link to Opinion
Entitlement to PIP Benefits: Arising Out of / Causation Requirement [§3105(1)]
Plaintiff was a passenger in an automobile owned and driven by her husband. She was seriously injured when she was struck by a projectile (either a rock or a piece of concrete) which was thrown through the open passenger window of the automobile. The source of the projectile was never determined. On the basis of the Court of Appeals opinion in Mann v DAIIE (item number 463), this panel reversed a directed verdict in favor of defendant and ruled that there was a sufficient causal relationship between plaintiff's injury and her use of a motor vehicle under §3105(1) of the Act. The Court noted that although it is generally true that an assault does not establish a requisite causal connection, there is an important distinction in those cases where a projectile is propelled at a moving vehicle. In that situation, the assault is directed at the automobile itself, rather than at the driver or the passenger. As such, it is part of the normal risk of operating a motor vehicle and considered foreseeably identifiable with its normal use.