Sandra Castillo as Personal Representative of the Estate of Jose Luis Estrada-Martinez, Appellant,
American Standard Insurance Company of Wisconsin, Respondent.
County District Court File No. 27-CV-15-11939
Matthew Brenengen, Brenengen Law Offices, St. Louis Park,
Minnesota (for appellant)
Retzer-Busselman, Beth K. Bussian, Eden Prairie, Minnesota
Considered and decided by Schellhas, Presiding Judge; Ross,
Judge; and Jesson, Judge.
determining whether repairing or servicing a motor vehicle
"occurs off the business premises" for purposes of
the no-fault benefits exclusion under Minnesota Statutes
section 65B.43, subdivision 3 (2016), a business premises may
include a mobile business.
Luis Estrada-Martinez died from carbon monoxide poisoning
while repairing a customer's tire inside his truck on a
winter evening. In this no-fault action seeking
personal-injury-protection benefits, appellant challenges the
district court's grant of summary judgment to respondent
insurer. Because Estrada-Martinez's death arose from
conduct occurring on his business premises, so that the
relevant statutory exclusion from coverage under Minnesota
Statutes section 65B.43, subdivision 3, applies, we affirm.
undisputed facts establish that on December 12, 2013, Jose
Luis Estrada-Martinez was fixing a customer's tire in the
cargo bay of Estrada-Martinez's box truck, a 2002
Chevrolet Express, while the truck was parked near a tavern
in Edina. Estrada-Martinez was using a gasoline-powered
generator to power the tire-changing equipment. He vented the
exhaust from the generator through the side of the truck. It
was a cold evening, and the truck's loading door was
closed. Unfortunately, a leak between the exhaust pipe and
the generator's manifold allowed carbon monoxide to enter
the cargo area. The generator apparently ran until it ran out
of gas. Estrada-Martinez was found unresponsive in the back
of the truck, and he was declared dead from carbon monoxide
poisoning at Hennepin County Medical Center.
held several jobs. He worked primarily as an independent
contractor at Crosstown Auto, making auto-parts deliveries
with his box truck. He also had a mobile business performing
auto and tire repairs for other customers. He would drive to
customers' locations, where he performed maintenance and
repairs. Most of this repair work was performed in the rear
cargo bay of his truck, where he kept mounting and repairing
equipment, including tools, a large compressor, and the
gasoline-powered generator. Occasionally, he performed repair
work at the garage of his home.
time of his accident, Estrada-Martinez was insured under a
family automobile policy (no-fault policy) with respondent
American Standard Insurance Company. He did not have a
separate business insurance policy that covered his mobile
Estrada-Martinez's death, appellant Sandra Castillo, the
personal representative of his estate, made a claim for
personal-injury-protection benefits for medical and funeral
expenses. American Standard denied benefits, asserting that
the Minnesota No-Fault Automobile Insurance Act, Minn. Stat.
§§ 65B.41-.71 (2016), excludes benefits for
injuries or death arising out of the ...