The Michigan Supreme Court has ruled in favor of a Detroit-area man who is seeking insurance benefits for injuries suffered when he got out of his pickup truck.
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.
Two courts said he wasn’t entitled to payment from his truck insurer. A Wayne County judge and the state appeals court ruled against him. Farm Bureau Insurance said the appeals court decision in its favor was “common sense.”
But in a 4-3 opinion on June 15, the Supreme Court said a jury should sort out the facts in Kemp’s case. The court says he was using his truck for transportation purposes when he was unloading his possessions — a key legal threshold.
Farm Bureau Insurance has warned that insurance companies could become responsible for strained backs, stubbed toes and other common injuries.