Judges conclude vehicle not "involved" in motorcyclist's accident-related injuries.
The Detroit Medical Center sued Progressive Michigan Insurance and Citizens Insurance Company, seeking to recover the expenses it incurred in treating an injured motorcyclist. The cyclist apparently said he was traveling 100 miles per hour when he saw oncoming headlights, feared a collision, panicked and dropped his bike. He sustained serious injuries, for which the DMC provided costly treatment. The case is basically a public policy question addressing the question of whether no fault insurers should be required to factor these costs into no fault insurance, or whether the bills should pass to other insurers or taxpayers.
The DMC sued the no fault insurer of the owner of both vehicles. Progressive admitted that it owed payment of all medical, as the owner of the car, if the car was "involved" in the incident. It also acknowledged, and the judges confirmed, that "involvement" does not require fault or even proximate cause. Typically cases involving moving vehicles have been deemed to "involve" the vehicle, while passive "involvement" of a parked car, for example, without actual contact with the bike, does not meet the no fault "involved motor vehicle" standard.
In this case, however, the Court of Appeals reversed the lower court and ruled that the oncoming car which caused the biker to "over-react" and spill his bike was not "involved" in the incident. The higher court judges, including Henry Saad, who virtually always votes for the insurer, regardless of the merits of the insurer's claim, concluded that the automobile was "merely present" and not in any way "involved" in this incident, because the cyclist may not have needed to take evasive action, was startled and "over-reacted."
We're not sure how you "over-react" to something that is not "involved" and causally related.