‘Transportational Use’ Car Insurance Appeal on Michigan Supreme Court Docket

By | October 6, 2016

If you hurt yourself while pulling stuff from your car, should your insurance company be on the hook for the injuries?

The Michigan Supreme Court is opening a new term this week with arguments in that case and many others, including alleged misconduct by an Ann Arbor-area judge who could lose his job.

In 2012, truck driver Daniel Kemp tore a calf muscle while stretching on his tiptoes to grab a thermos, briefcase and overnight bag, just 30 seconds after parking at home. He sought payments under his no-fault policy but Farm Bureau Insurance said no.

Kemp acknowledged that his truck wasn’t moving when he was hurt, but his lawyers said he should qualify for benefits under Michigan law because his injuries were related to the “transportational use” of the truck.

“I heard something go ‘pow’ and I fell to the ground,” Kemp said.

A Wayne County judge and the state appeals court, however, ruled against him. Farm Bureau Insurance said the appeals court decision in its favor was “common sense.”

If Kemp prevails at the Supreme Court, the company said, then insurance “must cover strained backs, sprained wrists, stubbed toes and any other common maladies that result from unloading groceries, grabbing a purse or wallet off the seat or even unbuckling an infant from a car seat.”

The Supreme Court will hear arguments in 11 cases yesterday and today.

Latest Comments

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