Home Vehicle Accidents Stony Creek crash victim’s father seeks insurance coverage for car owner – Macomb Daily

Stony Creek crash victim’s father seeks insurance coverage for car owner – Macomb Daily

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The estate for a teenage boy killed in a triple-fatal crash at Stony Creek Metropark is asking the state Supreme Court to restore its case against an insurance company to try to collect a $475,000 judgment.

Attorney Sima Patel, representing Gregory Wells for the estate of the late Michael Wells, and attorney Paul Hudson, attorney for State Farm Fire & Casualty Co., argued Thursday whether the state Supreme Court should accept Wells’ application to appeal prior rulings. They argued the case remotely and shown by video in front of the high court.

The May 2015 crash at the Washington Township park killed three and injured two boys.

The plaintiff in a separate lawsuit gained a $475,000 consent judgment from Gregory Bobchick Sr. and Dawn Bobchick related to the couple furnishing alcohol to minors at their Shelby Township home prior to the crash. Each of the five occupants had a blood-alcohol level of between .024% and .086%, police said.

The plaintiff says State Farm should pay the judgment because the incident was an accident.

“We’re trying to get them (State Farm) to provide coverage under the Bobchicks’ insurance policy,” Patel said following the arguments.

She contends the case was prematurely dismissed by Macomb Circuit Court Judge Edward Edward Servitto, whose ruling was upheld by the state Court of Appeals, on request by State Farm.

The Stony Creek crash victims. Bobchick and Narra survived.MACOMB DAILY FILE IMAGE

During arguments, Patel argued the Bobchicks could not foresee their conduct resulting in a crash. She said there is a “disconnect” between supplying the alcohol to the minors and the crash.

“The consequences that occurred were of a different type and kind that were intended,” she said. “It falls outside the scope of intentional conduct.

“The direct result of providing alcohol to minors is inebriated minors. And that could have certain consequences. You could have minors who got alcohol poisoning or some other physical ailment because of becoming drunk. But then the fact that the minors picked up keys, went on a joy ride and got into a crash is two sets removed from the intentional actions of the insured.”

Hudson, however, argued for State Farm that even if it was an accident, the homeowners insurance policy doesn’t cover it, calling the motor-vehicle exclusion, “very simple, straight-forward.”

“Homeowners policies don’t cover auto accidents; that’s what auto policies are for,” Hudson said.

Justice Brian Zahra noted Servitto did not rule on the auto-exclusion issue and questioned whether State Farm could “preserve” that issue and argue it.

Hudson said State Farm raised the issue at the trial court level so is preserved for argument.

The Jaguar S-Type that crashed into the Stony Creek at Stony Creek Metropark in Washington Township in 2015, killing three teenage boys.MACOMB DAILY FILE PHOTO

Still, Hudson argued against Patel’s claim of an accident “even though the homeowner didn’t obviously intend to cause a car accident.”

“Giving alcohol to minors is not an accident within the meaning of a homeowners policy,” he said. “The homeowner here undisputedly, knowingly furnished alcohol to minors in their home, and that intentional act included a direct risk of harm that the homeowner should have reasonably expected the consequences, that they (the minors) would drive drunk and get in an accident.”

In addition to Wells, 17, of Macomb Township, Jonathan Manolios, 17, of Sterling Heights; Emanuel ‘Manny’ Malaj, 17, of Sterling Heights died in the May 8, 2015 crash. Gregory Bobchick Jr., now 24, and Joseph Narra, also 24, were injured. Bobchick Jr. and Narra pleaded guilty to to a charge of minor in possession, a misdemeanor.

Sheriff’s investigators determined the black Jaguar S-Type was traveling 62-72 mph in a 35 mph zone on the wrong side of Park Road when it crashed into a guard rail, rolled over five times and plunged into Stony Creek, southwest of Stony Creek Lake’s South Dam.

Only Bobchick, who was wearing a seatbelt, was not ejected.

A 12-pack of Corona beer, a pint of Crown Royal whiskey and a pint of rum were found in the Jaguar.

Manolios’ father, George, representing himself and his son’s estate, in 2019 gained a $6 million judgment against the Bobchicks, but whether it has been paid is unclear. Monolios’ attorney, Vincent Lorelli, said he could not comment.

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