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Miller v Auto-Owners Insurance Company; (ICC-UNP, 4/28/1978; RB #82)


Ingham County Circuit Court; File No.77-21093-CR; Unpublished   
Judge Jack W. Warren; Written Opinion   
Official Michigan Reporter Citation: Not Applicable; Link to Opinion alt   

Entitlement to PIP Benefits: Arising Out of / Causation Requirement [§3105(1)]
Exclusion for Vehicles Considered Parked [§3106(1)]
Exception for Vehicle Maintenance [§3106]

Legislative Purpose and Intent   

In a written Opinion, Judge Warren held that a plaintiff was entitled to personal insurance protection benefits where he sustained injury when his car fell on top of him while plaintiff was installing new shock absorbers on the vehicle. The Court ruled that the plaintiff was engaged in the "maintenance" of a motor vehicle under §3105(1) and as such is entitled to PIP benefits.

The Court further held that the parked vehicle exclusions of §3106 did not apply to this case in that the vehicle was not "parked" within the meaning of that provision. The Court held that the word "parked" encompasses three elements: (1) a voluntary and temporary act; (2) the act of leaving the vehicle; and (3) the vehicle must not be in use. In this case the plaintiff never left the vehicle and as a result the vehicle was not parked. The Court held that a more restrictive definition of a parked vehicle would make wholly or partially nugatory the maintenance provision of §3105." Furthermore, the Court noted the need to "give liberal interpretation to statutes which protect the citizen from loss."

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