Personal Injury Protection insurer must pay mom's counseling expenses after she witnessed son's death
Gale Boertmann was driving behind her son. He was operating a motorcycle when he was struck by a car and killed. Ms. Boertman suffered "post-traumatic stress disorder" and a "major depressive disorder" that required counseling. Her treaters pointed out that the normal grief she experienced was complicated and exacerbated by having witnessed the traumatic event and the flashbacks that she experienced.Her PIP insurer, Cincinnati Insurance Company, argued that her psychological injury did not "arise out of the use of a motor vehicle" and refused to pay for counseling. The Court of Appeals upheld the trial judge's decision awarding the cost of Boertmann's medical care. It ruled that the causation requirement was met by the plain language of the Act and the opinions of the medical providers: Boertmann need not prove that the need for counseling was caused by HER operation of a motor vehicle.