State Farm wins judgment that it has excluded coverage for "business pursuit"
The Estate of Troy Fournier sued Richard Balogh for wrongful death, after Balogh negligently electrocuted Fournier by operating a crane into a high voltage line with Fournier standing near the crane. The men were roofers who were planning to transport steel to be recycled on a day when their employer had no work. The lower court entered judgment finding Balogh negligent and Fournier innocent of negligence, but determined that Balogh's homeowner's coverage with State Farm did not apply to the incident. The Fournier Estate argued that the crane should be covered because it was not a motor vehicle "being used as a motor vehicle" under no fault definitions. It also argued that the crane was "in dead storage" at the time of the incident, as described in the policy language. The Court of Appeals held that regardless of Michigan's no fault "motor vehicle" definitions, the State Farm policy definition excluded coverage for Balogh's operation of this vehicular crane at the employer's location.