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Jennings v. Amco Insurance Co.

United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Southeastern Division

July 10, 2015

DEBORAH JENNINGS, Plaintiff,
v.
AMCO INSURANCE COMPANY, Defendant.

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

STEPHEN N. LIMBAUGH, Jr., District Judge.

Plaintiff Deborah Jennings was a passenger in an automobile accident in which she sustained serious injuries on January 17, 2014. Her husband, Allen Jennings, was driving the car, and his negligence is alleged to have caused the accident. At the time, the Jenningses had an insurance policy with defendant AMCO Insurance Company. Plaintiff and defendant disagree regarding the amount plaintiff is entitled to recover under the policy. Plaintiff filed this action in state court seeking a declaratory judgment as to insurance coverage (Count I), and claiming breach of contract (Count II) and vexatious refusal to pay (Count III). Defendant removed the matter to this Court citing diversity jurisdiction. Then, defendant filed a third-party complaint against Allen Jennings and a counterclaim against plaintiff. The parties have filed cross-motions for summary judgment (#17, #19). The matter has been fully briefed and is now ripe for disposition.

I. Factual Background

The subject AMCO automobile insurance policy ("Policy") offers bodily injury coverage of $100, 000/$300, 000 (per person/each accident) and medical payments coverage of $5, 000. There are two motor vehicles covered under the Policy. Plaintiff seeks to stack the $100, 000 $5, 000 coverage for each vehicle for a total of $210, 000. The Policy includes a so-called "Family Member Exclusion" or "Household Exclusion" that states

We do not provide Liability Coverage for any "insured":
... For "bodily injury" to you or any "family member" to the extent that the limits of liability for this coverage exceed the limits of liability required by the Missouri Financial Responsibility Law.

As a result, defendant has offered $25, 000 to plaintiff pursuant to the minimum coverage requirements of the Missouri Financial Responsibility Law for bodily injury coverage. Defendant has also denied plaintiff's attempt to "stack" the coverage amounts for each of the two vehicles covered under the policy. The Policy states that, with respect to "Medical Payments Coverage, "

The limit of liability shown in the Declarations for this coverage is our maximum limit of liability for each person injured in any one accident. This is the most we will pay regardless of the number of:
1. "Insureds";
2. Claims made;
3. Vehicles or premiums shown in the Declarations; or
4. Vehicles involved in the accident...

Defendant has denied plaintiff's claim for $10, 000 in medical expenses coverage as a result of ...


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