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Four-wheeler injuries on a private road are not "no fault" injuries; Special assessment district does not render road "public highway"

Michael Flowers sued Progressive Michigan after the latter company refused to provide no fault PIP benefits to Flowers.  Flowers was hurt on a four-wheeler operated by a drunk party-goer.  The injuries were suffered on a privately-owned road which the Township taxed under a special assessment district (SAD) and then contracted out for maintenance. 

PIP benefits are payable whenever a passenger or operator suffers injury in a vehicle:

1. EITHER operated on a public highway OR

2.  designed for operation on a public highway. 

In this case, Flowers maintained that the Township's SAD and involvement in maintaining the road rendered it a "public highway."  In a case of first impression, the Court of Appeals rejected this definition.  Despite the fact that the road was open to the public and maintained through a Township-created and taxed SAD, the road remained a "private road" for No Fault purposes.

Thompson O’Neil, P.C.
309 East Front Street
Traverse City, Michigan 49684
Toll Free: 1-800-678-1307
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