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Progresssive Michigan Insurance Company loses appeal over PIP benefits to truckdriver

William Cody claimed that he hurt his back while attaching a trailer to his truck while working as an independent contractor for Ajas Trucking, Inc.  He sought medical expense coverage from Progressive, the insure for Ajas.  Progressive denied that he was entitled to PIP benefits, so Cody filed a lawsuit.  Progressive sought summary disposition, which was denied by the trial judge, and Progressive appealed.  The Court of Appeals rejected the appeal, finding that there were genuine issues of material fact with regard to whether Cody was entitled to coverage under the Progressive policy.

The policy provided coverage for anyone "in, on, entering or exiting" an insured vehicle and the facts were in dispute with regard to whether Cody was "on" the insured trailer when he suffered his injury, since he was standing with his foot on the trailer's landing gear base.  The high court also noted that Progressive's trailer was in fact covered under the policy because the policy language expressly included any trailer "connected" to an insured vehicle.  Lastly, the Court noted that the insurer did not provide adequate proof in its motion to support summary judgment on its various defenses.  The case was returned to the trial judge for further action.

Thompson O’Neil, P.C.
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Traverse City, Michigan 49684
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