USAA sign According to the majority, there was a “causal relationship” between the incident and the employment of the insured vehicle “as a vehicle” because Estep was not using the vehicle “in a manner foreign to its design purpose.” (Credit: frankieleon/ Wikimedia Commons)

majority of the Virginia Court of Appeals sided with an auto insurance policyholder Tuesday, upholding a circuit court order awarding him $30,000 for medical benefits for injuries he sustained while packing his vehicle in a hotel parking lot.

Bruce Estep was loading bags into his car after checking out of a hotel in Fairfax County, Virginia, before traveling home in November 2016. He was “leaning into the rear of the vehicle, bent over at the waist and reaching into the vehicle, such that his body was in the vehicle from the waist up” when a gust of wind sent the luggage cart in his direction, striking him on the right side and causing him to fall to the ground, according to the court’s majority opinion written by Judge Frank K. Friedman.

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