Wednesday, January 1, 2014

McKenzie v. Auto Club Insurance Association case brief

McKenzie v. Auto Club Insurance Association case brief summary
580 N.W.2d 424 (1998)

CASE SYNOPSIS
Defendant insurer appealed a decision of the Court of Appeals (Michigan), which affirmed the Wayne Circuit Court's decision granting summary disposition to plaintiff insured in his action under the state no-fault act for injuries he sustained while sleeping in a camper/trailer attached to his pickup truck.

CASE FACTS
Plaintiff insured was non-fatally asphyxiated while sleeping in a camper/trailer attached to his pickup truck. In his action against defendant insurer for personal injury protection (PIP) benefits under the Michigan no-fault act, Mich. Comp. Laws §500.3101, the trial court granted plaintiff summary disposition, and the appellate court affirmed.

DISCUSSION

  • On appeal, the court applied the test whether the injury arose out of the use of the camper/trailer as a motor vehicle under that no-fault act and determined that the requisite nexus between the injury and the transportational function of the motor vehicle was lacking. 
  • At the time the injury occurred, the parked camper/trailer was being used as sleeping accommodations.
  • Accordingly, because coverage under the no-fault act was not triggered, summary disposition for plaintiff was improper.
CONCLUSION
The court reversed the judgment of the court of appeals affirming summary disposition for plaintiff insured and remanded for entry of an order granting defendant insurer's motion for summary disposition because coverage under the no-fault act was not triggered in the absence of a nexus between the injury and the transportational function of plaintiff's vehicle.

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