Michigan Court of Appeals; Docket #298673; Unpublished
Judges Murray, Hoekstra and Stephens; Unanimous; Per Curiam
Official Michigan Reporter Citation: Not applicable; Link to Opinion
In this unanimous unpublished per curiam opinion, the Court of Appeals affirmed summary disposition in favor of the defendant on the plaintiff’s claim that he was entitled to No Fault PIP Benefits when he sustained injury as a result of a fall on the premises of GH Lube Company where he had gone for an oil change. The plaintiff testified that he drove his vehicle into the service garage, parked his vehicle and exited his vehicle without incident. He began walking to the office area to pay for his oil change when he took less than ten steps on the snow covered parking lot before he slipped and fell. While he was on the ground, he noted there was oil under the snow. The plaintiff claimed that his injuries entitled him to no fault benefits because the injuries arose out of the ownership, operation, maintenance, or use of the motor vehicle as a motor vehicle as provided in Section 3105(1) of the Act. Specifically, the plaintiff claimed that his injuries arose out of the “maintenance” of his motor vehicle as a motor vehicle. In rejecting this argument, the court noted that a claim for no fault benefits must establish that there is a causal connection between the injury and the use of a motor vehicle as a motor vehicle that is more than incidental, fortuitous or but for. That means that the involvement of the vehicle must be directly related to its character as a motor vehicle. In concluding that the plaintiff had not satisfied this causal connection test under Section 3105(1) the court stated:
“In looking at the evidence in the light most favorable to plaintiff, there is no genuine issue of material fact regarding whether plaintiff’s injury arose out of the use or maintenance of his motor vehicle as a motor vehicle. Based on plaintiff’s own testimony, there is not a causal connection between plaintiff’s injury and his use of his vehicle as a motor vehicle because plaintiff’s injury is not directly related to the motor vehicle’s character as a motor vehicle. Contrary to plaintiff’s argument on appeal, there is no causal connection between plaintiff’s injury and his use of his vehicle merely because he was walking to pay for GH’s active maintenance of his vehicle, the oil change, when he was injured. Plaintiff’s injury was incidental to the oil change. The trial court properly granted the motion for summary disposition.”
Accordingly, the court concluded that the plaintiff was not entitled to No-Fault PIP Benefits.