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Mann v DAIIE; (COA-PUB, 12/1/1981; RB #463)


Michigan Court of Appeals; Docket No. 55381; Published  
Judges Danhof, Walsh, and Riley; Unanimous  
Official Michigan Reporter Citation: 111 Mich App 637; Link to Opinion alt   

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

Legislative Purpose and Intent   

In this unanimous per curiam Opinion, the Court of Appeals held that no-fault benefits were properly recoverable by plaintiff pursuant to §3105(1) of the Act when plaintiff sustained injuries when an unidentified individual threw a stone at plaintiff’s vehicle from an overpass as plaintiff was driving along a Detroit expressway. The object hit the plaintiff’s automobile hood and windshield. The Court applied the much accepted "causal connection theory" and commented that, "Ordinarily, an assault on a person in an automobile is not a compensable injury under the No-Fault Act." However, in granting benefits in this case, the Court stated, "This case, however, presents a different factual situation. In today's society, unfortunately, there are unbalanced individuals who take perverse enjoyment out of dropping rocks and other objects on automobiles as they pass under overpasses on expressways. In recognition of this hazard traffic engineers often design overpasses with protective fencing. This type of assault is directed at the automobile itself, not the driver. It happens only because the automobile is passing under the overpass at the appointed time. There is a direct causal relationship between the driving of the vehicle and the assault. In this case, if the plaintiff had not been driving his automobile, he would not have been assaulted. Injuries sustained as a result of the assault, therefore, arise out of the operation and use of the motor vehicle as a motor vehicle."

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