Monday, March 25, 2013

Weber v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co. case brief

Weber v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co. case brief
284 N.W.2d 299 (N.D. 1979)


SYNOPSIS:
Appellant insurer challenged the order of the Ward County District Court (North Dakota), entering judgment for appellee spouse in an action to recover no-fault benefits under an insurance policy issued pursuant to the North Dakota Auto Accident Reparations Act, N.D. Cent. Code chs. 26-41.

OVERVIEW: Insured was killed on a hunting trip while sitting in his truck when a passenger's gun discharged. Appellee spouse brought an action against appellant insurer to recover no-fault benefits under an insurance policy issued pursuant to the North Dakota Auto Accident Reparations Act. Appellant denied coverage because there was no causal connection between operating the truck and the accident. The lower court entered judgment for appellee.

HOLDING:
On appeal, the court affirmed. The causal connection test applied prior to the adoption of the no-fault statute.

ANALYSIS:
Considering the plain meaning of the term "occupying a motor vehicle" and the statute's purpose, it covered this accident. It was foreseeable that accidents like this would happen, and nothing in the statute indicated legislative intent to exclude from coverage a person occupying his own car who was injured in a hunting accident.

OUTCOME: The lower court's judgment for appellee was affirmed because nothing in the North Dakota Auto Accident Reparations Act indicated legislative intent to exclude from coverage a person occupying his own car who was injured in a hunting accident.

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