In dispute between auto insurers, court holds that motorcycist doesn't become "pedestrian" after dumping his bike
Frankenmuth Insurance Company sued Progressive Michigan to recover PIP benefits it paid to Jeanine Serba's dependants after she "took a spill" on a highway entrance ramp. She was struck and killed moments later by a van driven by another motorist--who was apparently drunk. Progressive argued that Serba's own no fault insurer, Frankenmuth, should pay her wages and medical because Serba was no longer "a passenger or operator of a motorcycle" at the point where she was struck by the van.
The Court agreed with the trial judge, who ruled that the causal connection between being a motorcyclist/passenger and the injuries did not end, simply because there was no car involved in the "spill" which left Serba vulnerable. In the No Fault Act, the Legislature distinguished between motorcycle occupants and vehicle occupants or pedestrians for valid reasons; and the passage of a "few minutes" between dropping the bike and being struck did not change the causal relationship.