Bicyclist Struck by An Object Thrown by a Passenger from a Moving Car
In Westchester Fire Ins. Co. v. Continental Ins. Co., 126 N.J. Super. 29, 35, 312 A.2d 664 (App.Div.1973), aff'd o.b., 65 N.J. 152, 319 A.2d 732 (1974), the Court held that injuries sustained by a bicyclist when struck by a stick thrown by a passenger from a moving vehicle arose out of the use of an automobile and were covered under the automobile liability policy of the owner of the automobile.
In that case, we observed that the words "arising out of" do not mean the same thing as proximate causation in the sense that the injury must be "caused by" or "resulting from" the use of the automobile.
The Court said there that if such a meaning was intended, the insurer would surely have employed language which clearly conveyed that idea. Ibid.
Consequently, we concluded that "the phrase 'arising out of' must be interpreted in a broad and comprehensive sense to mean 'originating from' or 'growing out of' the use of the automobile.
So interpreted, there need be shown only a substantial nexus between the injury and the use of the vehicle. . . ." Id. at 38, 312 A.2d 664.
The Court also stated, however, that "whether the requisite connection or degree of relationship exists depends upon the circumstances of the particular case," concluding there that such a relationship was presented by the allegations of the complaint. Ibid.;
In Westchester, the Court explained that in interpreting the phrase "arising out of," "the inquiry should be whether the negligent act which caused the injury, although not foreseen or expected, was in the contemplation of the parties to the insurance contract, a natural and reasonable incident or consequence of the use of the automobile, and thus a risk against which they might reasonably expect those insured under the policy would be protected." 126 N.J. Super. at 38, 312 A.2d 664.