The magic haybale
In another marvelous result-oriented, pro-insurance, typically Henry Saad opinion, this week the Court of Appeals ruled that magical hay bales are capable of appearing anywhere, at any time. In Kerr v. State Farm, the plaintiff was badly injured after she was startled by the presence of a haybale in the middle of the freeway and attempted to avoid it. She struck the bale, left the road and hit a highway obstacle, suffering vehicular damage and severe injuries. Since she couldn't identify the owner of the bale of hay, she brought a claim against her own carrier, State Farm, under the pertinent section of her policy.
State Farm requires contact with the unidentified vehicle or with some physical manifestation of the unidentified vehicle (like a bale of hay it had been carrying. State Farm denied the claim on that basis, and Ms. Kerr filed suit. The Trial Court ruled in Kerr's favor. The Court of Appeals judges reversed, however, in their infinite wisdom concluding that Ms. Kerr had not created--even by circumstantial evidence--a reasonable argument that the bale of hay came from a motor vehicle.
The Judges declined to identify the many other potential sources for the bale of hay in the middle of the freeway: an airplane practicing bombing missions may have dropped it on the freeway; it may have been launched into the freeway from a neighboring farm; several cows may have worked together to transport the hay to that location, anticipating a midnight snack. There are thousands of equally plausible explanations for the hay finding its way into the traveled course of the freeway--without even considering the possibility of UFOs, nocturnal herbivorous monsters, or Communist sabotage. In short, another judicial opinion which we, as residents of Michigan, can cite with pride of intellect.