VIRGIL TAYLOR V STATE FARM MUTUAL INS COAnnotate this Case
STATE OF MICHIGAN
COURT OF APPEALS
December 4, 1998
Wayne Circuit Court
LC No. 96-648840 NI
STATE FARM MUTUAL AUTOMOBILE
Before: Sawyer, P.J., and Wahls and Hoekstra, JJ.
Plaintiff appeals from the circuit court order granting the motion for summary disposition filed by
defendant State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company. We affirm. This appeal is being
decided without oral argument pursuant to MCR 7.214(E).
Plaintiff was driving his motorcycle eastbound on a narrow street when he steered toward the
curb and behind a parked car to avoid a car traveling westbound. After the westbound car passed
plaintiff moved out from behind the parked car. As he passed the front of the parked car he hit a
pothole and was thrown from his motorcycle. Plaintiff sustained serious injuries as a result of the
When defendant declined to pay medical expenses and no-fault benefits, plaintiff filed suit
alleging breach of contract. Defendant moved for summary disposition pursuant to MCR 2.116(C)(8)
and (10), arguing that plaintiff was not entitled to benefits because a motor vehicle was not involved in
the accident. Neither the westbound car nor the parked car caused plaintiff to hit the pothole. No
causal connection existed between plaintiff’s injury and the ownership, maintenance, or use of a motor
vehicle. Bradley v DAIIE, 130 Mich App 34, 41-42; 343 NW2d 506 (1983). The trial court granted
defendant’s motion, finding that the evidence showed that the westbound car had passed before plaintiff
steered his motorcycle out from behind the parked car and hit the pothole. Notwithstanding the fact
that the trial court granted defendant’s motion for summary disposition, plaintiff did not seek a ruling on
his motion for leave to amend his complaint, which was noticed for hearing one week later.
This Court reviews a trial court’s decision on a motion for summary disposition de novo. Baker
v Arbor Drugs, Inc, 215 Mich App 198, 202; 544 NW2d 727 (1996).
Because a motorcycle is excluded from the definition of motor vehicle, MCL 500.3101(2)(e);
MSA 24.13101(2)(e), a person injured while riding a motorcycle is not entitled to benefits unless he is
injured in an accident involving a motor vehicle. Underhill v Safeco Ins Co, 407 Mich 175, 186; 284
NW2d 463 (1979). To be compensable, an injury must be foreseeably identifiable with the normal
ownership, maintenance, or use of a motor vehicle. Bradley v DAIIE, 130 Mich App 34, 41-42; 343
NW2d 506 (1983).
We affirm the trial court’s decision. Plaintiff may have been required to steer behind the parked
car to avoid the westbound car, as he testified; however, he was not forced off the road b the
westbound car. Cf. Bromley v Citizens Ins Co, 113 Mich App 131; 317 NW2d 318 (1982).
Plaintiff was not prevented from slowing to avoid striking the parked car, and was not forced by traffic
to steer out from behind the parked car at any particular rate of speed. After moving out from behind
the parked car, plaintiff’s motorcycle traveled at least to the front of that car before hitting the pothole.
No causal connection existed between the ownership, maintenance, or use of a motor vehicle and
plaintiff’s injury. Bradley, supra. Plaintiff was not entitled to benefits.
Plaintiff’s assertion that the trial court abused its discretion by failing to allow him to argue his
motion for leave to amend his complaint is without merit. Plaintiff did not seek a ruling on the motion for
leave to amend after the trial court granted the motion for summary disposition. The trial court made no
ruling which can be appealed. This Court’s review is limited to issues actually decided by the trial court.
Michigan Mutual Ins Co v American Community Mutual Ins Co, 165 Mich App 269, 277; 418
NW2d 455 (1987).
/s/ David H. Sawyer
/s/ Myron H. Wahls
/s/ Joel P. Hoekstra