In the recent decision of Penn National Ins. Co. v. Costa, the New Jersey Supreme Court held that in order for an injury to arise “out of the maintenance, operation or use of a motor vehicle” there must be a substantial nexus between the injury and the allegedly negligent maintenance, operation or use of the vehicle. In Costa, the mechanic plaintiff slipped and fell on his employer’s icy driveway and struck his head on a tire jack that was being used to change a flat tire. The plaintif was not involved in the tire repair at the time of his accident. Thus, the Court found that there was no substantial nexus between the plaintiff’s injuries and the allegedly negligent maintenance of the motor vehicle. Consequently, the automobile insurance policy did not provide coverage for the claim.
Thanks to Claudia Condruz for her contribution to this post.