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Montoya v Farmers Insurance Exchange and Priority Health Managed Benefits, Inc.; (COA-UNP, 4/6/2006, RB #2714)


Michigan Court of Appeals; Docket #256324; Unpublished
Judges Hoekstra, Wilder, and Zahra; unanimous; per curiam
Official Michigan Reporter Citation: Not applicable, Link to Opinion courthouse graphic

Exception for Unreasonably Parked Vehicles [3106]

Motor Vehicle Code (Definition of Parking)

In this unanimous unpublished per curiam opinion decided without oral argument, the Court of Appeals affirmed summary disposition for defendants, finding that the vehicle plaintiff ran into while driving his snowmobile was properly parked on the side of the road for purposes of the parked vehicle exception to the No-Fault Act. The plaintiff in this case was injured when his snowmobile ran into a disabled vehicle parked on the side of the road. On appeal, plaintiff argued the vehicle was unreasonably parked because it extended onto the traveled portion of the road, the accident occurred during a heavy snow-storm with white-out conditions and there was a question whether the vehicle’s hazard lights had been activated. The Court of Appeals disagreed and affirmed, reasoning that under MCL 257.59a, the disabled vehicle was entitled to be parked on the side of the road. Moreover, the vehicle was parked in a reasonable manner because it was parked as far to the side of the road as possible and the vehicle’s hazard lights were in the "on" position. In this regard, the court reasoned:

The disabled vehicle had a right to use the shoulder of the roadway because it was experiencing mechanical difficulties. See MCL 257.59a. The vehicle had been pulled over as far as possible, and its hazard lights switch was in the on position when the collision occurred. Even assuming that the disabled vehicle’s hazard lights were not working, it is undisputed that the car assisting the disabled vehicle had its headlights on and was facing the disabled vehicle. Therefore, the disabled vehicle did not pose an unreasonable risk within the meaning of MCL 500.3106(1)(a).

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