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David B. Roth Obtains Summary Disposition of Claim for Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage Where Plaintiff Was Involved in Serious Motorcycle Accident

Thomas Watson v. Home-Owners Insurance Company, et. al., Lapeer County Circuit Court Case No. 21-054361-NI. (July 22, 2021) In this case, the plaintiff was operating his motorcycle on Lake Nepessing Road in Lapeer when he was involved in a motor vehicle accident, which he claims was caused by the other driver having turned in front of him.  The plaintiff sustained serious injuries and fractures to his left wrist, right leg and right ankle, which required multiple surgeries. The plaintiff then sued defendant for uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, claiming the policy of insurance provided him such coverage when operating his motorcycle. The policy listed as an insured vehicle a Ford Taurus, but not his motorcycle. The plaintiff argued coverage applied, even though the motorcycle was not listed as an insured vehicle, because the policy allegedly provided UM/UIM coverage for vehicles other than the insured vehicle listed on the policy. We filed a motion for summary disposition, arguing that a policy exclusion excluded coverage for the insured’s operation of an owned “automobile” that was not insured under the policy. We argued that plaintiff’s motorcycle fit within the policy definition of “automobile” because the policy broadly defined “automobile” as “a private passenger automobile, a truck, truck tractor, trailer, farm implement or other land motor vehicle.” We argued that the phrase “other land motor vehicle” included a “motorcycle”.   The Court agreed with our argument and found that because of the policy’s definition, the exclusion applied to a motorcycle.  The Court granted our motion for summary disposition and dismissed the claims against Defendant Home-Owners Insurance Company in their entirety with prejudice.