Farm Bureau and Great West lose spurious no fault PIP disputeMatthew Gillem was hurt after a complicated accident involving four vehicles on I-96. In short, Gillem was accompanying a friend who was towing a disabled semi-tractor back to the garage. A wheel disengaged from the towed tractor so Gillem and his friend pulled to the side of the road. Gillem started down the highway to warn oncoming motorists, however, he was struck by one of two cars that sideswiped one another and lost control attempting to avoid the detached wheel.
Since Gillem did not own a vehicle and had not purchased no fault coverage, all of the insurers of vehicles "involved in the collision" were obligated to share his PIP medical expenses on a pro rata basis. Citizens and Home-Owners Insurance paid up but Home-Owners was required to sue Farm Bureau and Great West.
The latter companies insured the tow truck and semi-tractor and argued that these vehicles--because they had stopped on the shoulder by the time Gillem was hurt--were "not involved" in the incident. Pointing to the fact that the vehicles were the source of the detached wheel, the Court of Appeals unanimously rejected Farm Bureau's and Great West's spurious defense and awarded Home-Owners its costs as the prevailing party.