Insurance company loses $200K dispute over alcohol

LOWELL, Mich. (AP) — A dispute over four words will cost an insurance company about $200,000.

A federal appeals court has ruled in favor of a man in the Grand Rapids area who suffered serious injuries during a motorbike crash in 2013. Beau Heimer was 22 at the time and had been drinking alcohol before a game of chicken in rural Kent County.

Companion Life rejected Heimer’s claim for medical expenses, saying the policy didn’t cover injuries from the “illegal use of alcohol.”

But the appeals court says Heimer’s use of alcohol wasn’t illegal. The court said Tuesday that riding the motorbike after drinking was illegal.

Judge David McKeague says the insurance company “must bear the consequences” of how the policy was written.

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