United States District Court, W.D. Missouri, Western Division
ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY
KAYS, CHIEF JUDGE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
suit concerns the underinsured coverage provisions of three
insurance policies issued to Plaintiff Pamela Shore
(“Plaintiff”) by Defendant State Farm Mutual
Automobile Insurance Company (“State Farm”). On
December 7, 2011, Plaintiff was involved in a car accident
(the “Accident”) while driving one of her
family's three cars, a 1994 Pontiac Grand Am (the
“Grand Am”). Plaintiff has recovered $250, 000
from the other driver's insurance company, and now
demands payment from her insurance provider, State Farm,
pursuant to the underinsured motorist (“UIM”)
coverage included in two of her three car insurance policies.
State Farm denied Plaintiff's claim, stating that the
policy covering the Grand Am did not include underinsured
motorist coverage, and that the policies on her other cars do
not provide coverage. Plaintiff then filed this action,
asserting claims for breach of contract and vexatious refusal
before the Court is State Farm's Motion for Summary
Judgment (Doc. 31). The Court finds the policies are
unambiguous and exclude coverage. The motion is GRANTED.
purposes of deciding this motion, the Court finds the
relevant facts to be as follows.
and her husband have three separate car insurance policies
with State Farm: one for the Grand Am involved in the
Accident (“Grand Am Policy”),  one for a 1990
Ford F250 (“Ford Policy”),  and another for a
1997 Chevrolet Blazer (“Chevrolet
Policy”). The Ford and Chevrolet polices expressly
include UIM coverage; the Grand Am Policy does not.
December 7, 2011, Plaintiff was involved in the Accident
while driving her 1994 Pontiac Grand Am. She alleges her
medical bills exceed $268, 000 and her economic losses exceed
$946, 000. Plaintiff recovered $250, 000 from the insurance
company of the other driver involved in the Accident, Jessica
Cannon. She demanded State Farm cover the balance of her
losses, and State Farm denied her claim on the ground that
the Grand Am insurance policy did not contain UIM coverage.
Ford and Chevrolet policies contain the following language
regarding UIM coverage:
will pay compensatory damages for bodily injury an
insured is legally entitled to recover from the
owner or driver of an underinsured motor vehicle.
The bodily injury must be:
1. sustained by an insured; and
2. caused by an accident that involves the operation,
maintenance, or use of an underinsured motor vehicle
as a motor vehicle.
We will pay only if the full amount of all available
limits of all bodily injury liability bonds, and
self-insurance plans that apply to the insured's
bodily injury have been used up by payment of judgments
or settlements, or have been offered to the insured
Def.'s Ex. C at 24-26 (Doc. 32-3); Def.'s Ex. D at
23-25 (Doc. 32-4) (emphasis in original).
policies also contain a provision excluding coverage for
injuries suffered while occupying a vehicle owned by the
insured (the “Owned-Car
Exclusion”). But, the policies also contain an
exception (the “Insured-Spouse
Exception”) to the Owned-Vehicle Exclusion for the
individual named on the policy and his or her spouse. The
Owned-Vehicle Exclusion and the Insured-Spouse Exception are
the focus of this dispute.
moving party is entitled to summary judgment if it
“shows that there is no genuine dispute as to any
material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a
matter of law.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). Material facts are
those “that might affect the outcome of the suit under
the governing law, ” and a genuine dispute over a
material fact is one “such that a reasonable jury could
return a verdict for the nonmoving party.” Anderson
v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986). In
deciding whether a jury question presents on an element, the
court must view the evidence in the ...