Appeal from the United States District Court
for the Western District of Michigan at Grand Rapids.
No. 1:15-cv-00338—Janet T. Neff, District Judge.
Argued: November 30, 2017
Decided and Filed: January 2, 2018
Before: COLE, Chief Judge; McKEAGUE and STRANCH, Circuit Judges.
COLE, Chief Judge. This matter is about whether a contract should mean what it says.
After Beau Darrell Heimer was injured in a motorbike accident, he filed an insurance claim with
Companion Life for the bill. Companion Life denied the claim, citing a plan exclusion that
disclaimed coverage for injuries resulting from the “illegal use of alcohol.” But the district court
read “illegal use of alcohol” to disclaim coverage only for the illegal consumption of alcohol,
and not for Heimer’s illegal post-consumption conduct of operating a motorbike while under the
influence of alcohol. The district court’s reading is consistent with the ordinary meaning of
“use” and best gives effect to the contract as a whole. We affirm.