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State Farm v Jimmie Little; (COA-____, 12/8/1978; RB #220)


Michigan Court of Appeals; Docket No. 77-4989    
Judges Riley, Branson, and Gillespie; Per Curiam   
Official Michigan Reporter Citation: _______; Link to Opinion alt    

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

Not Applicable   

In a short per curiam decision the Court of Appeals ruled that payment of no-fault benefits was not required in the accidental shooting death of a young infant which occurred when decedent and his infant brother secured possession of a loaded pistol placed in an open glove compartment shelf of an insured automobile while the automobile was being loaded for a trip. The Court adopted the analysis utilized in Kangas v Aetna, 64 Mich App 1 (1975), in determining whether or not this injury arose out of the ownership, operation, maintenance or use of a motor vehicle. Based upon the Kangas holding, even though the automobile "need not be the proximate cause of the injury, there still must be a causal connection between the injury sustained and the ownership, maintenance, or use of the automobile which causal connection is more than incidental, fortuitous or but for." In this case, the Court held that it was the possession of the gun by the infant decedent and his brother and not their presence in the automobile that resulted in the fatal shooting.

[Author's Comment: This decision was mistakenly omitted from previous supplements as it was only recently received by the author.]

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