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Carrigan v. State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co.
949 P.2d 705, Or., OR, 11/28/1997
Category Victim v. Third Party 
Topic Insurers, Automobiles 
Filename Arising from Use 
Crime Assault; Carjacking; Shooting 
Location Roadway 
Prevailing Party Plaintiff 
Other Parties N/A 
HoldingStatement of Facts: On July 22, 1994, the plaintiff, Thomas Carrigan, Jr., was car-jacked by a stranger named Henderson. After surrendering his vehicle to Henderson, the plaintiff backed away from his vehicle approximately thirty feet. At that moment, Henderson shot the plaintiff in the chest. Although the plaintiff survived, he incurred substantial medical expenses. The plaintiff filed for PIP benefits under his automobile insurance policy with the defendant. After the defendant denied the claim, the plaintiff filed a declaratory judgment action. Both parties moved for summary judgment and the circuit court granted summary judgment to the defendant. The plaintiff appealed and the Court of Appeals affirmed the circuit court's award of summary judgment to the defendant. The Supreme Court of Oregon granted review. Holding: The Supreme Court of Oregon reversed the decision of the Court of Appeals and the judgment of the circuit court and remanded to the circuit court for further proceedings. In considering the scope of coverage afforded by the statutory minimum protection of PIP, the Supreme Court held that, in the instant case, the plaintiff's injury arose as a consequence of the car-jacking episode that involved the "use" of the vehicle. Therefore, the gunshot injury resulted from the plaintiff's use of his motor vehicle, affording him PIP coverage. Given that the gunshot injury clearly would be covered if it occurred while the plaintiff was driving, the Court reasoned that the temporal and spatial distance between his actual use and the gunshot injury was insufficient to constitute an intervening cause. 

Damage Award Not tried 
Victim's Counsel     
Plaintiff's Counsel Charles Ringo, of Dahn & Ringo, Beaverton 
Plaintiff's Expert      
Defense Counsel Thomas Brown, of Cosgrove, Vergeer & Kester, Portland 
Defense Expert

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