Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

American Service Insurance Co. v. First Class Medical Transportation, Inc.

United States District Court, W.D. Missouri, Western Division

June 12, 2017

AMERICAN SERVICE INSURANCE COMPANY, Plaintiff,
v.
FIRST CLASS MEDICAL TRANSPORTATION, INC., n/k/a EXPRESS MEDICAL TRANSPORTATIONS, INC., et al., Defendants.

          ORDER

          Fernando J. Gaitan, Jr. United States District Judge

         Pending before the Court is Plaintiff's Motion for Summary Judgment (Doc. No. 56).

         I. Background

         Plaintiff American Service Insurance Company (“ASI”) filed the present declaratory judgment action on January 24, 2016, seeking a declaration that it owes no duty to defendant First Class Medical Transportation, Inc., n/k/a/ Express Medical Transportation, Inc. (“First Class”) with respect to the claims presented by TZ, a minor, or to indemnify First Class for its liability, if any, to TZ, a minor, resulting from the shooting death of Michel Ziade, committed by Willie Parker on July 28, 2015. Plaintiff argues that the relevant insurance policy contains an Exclusion for Assault or Battery which unambiguously excludes coverage for the shooting death of Mr. Ziade.

         On April 21, 2017, plaintiff moved for summary judgment. When defendants did not timely respond to the motion for summary judgment, the Court ordered them to show cause on or before May 23, 2017, why summary judgment should not be granted for the reasons stated by plaintiff. On May 22 and May 23, 2017, defendants TZ and First Class respectively filed responses to the Court's Order to Show Cause. Defendant TZ indicated he cannot oppose the motion for summary judgment consistent with the requirements of Fed.R.Civ.P. 11(b). See Doc. No. 60. Similarly, defendant First Class indicated that it cannot oppose plaintiff's motion for summary judgment consistent with the requirements of Fed.R.Civ.P. 11(b). See Doc. No. 61. Accordingly, the Court will consider below whether to grant the unopposed motion for summary judgment.

         II. Facts[1]

         Plaintiff ASI is an insurance company which provided a policy of insurance to defendant First Class. Defendant First Class is a medical transportation company, whose business is to provide non-emergency medical transportation services. Kristen Ziade is the sole owner of the business. Ms. Ziade is also the mother of defendant TZ, who is seven years old. Ms. Ziade was married to Michel Ziade (the decedent). Together, they started Defendant First Class, with Michel Ziade being employed as a manager of the company, with his duties including maintenance of vehicles, hiring and firing drivers, marketing and obtaining new clients. Defendant First Class is operated primarily based out of Ms. Ziade's home, and employs approximately 25 people. One of the employees is Mindy Willis, who works in the office performing administrative tasks, and dispatching.

         Willie Parker was employed by Defendant First Class as a driver. Ms. Ziade knew Mr. Parker from a prior employer. She contacted him and invited him to interview for the position of driver with Defendant First Class. Michel interviewed Mr. Parker. Following the interview, Ms. Ziade performed a background check on Willie Parker. Three checks were made including criminal background, driving record, and sexual offenses, and he cleared all of those checks. Michel checked Mr. Parker's references and gave him a driving test. His references checked out and he passed the driving test. He was then employed by First Class as a driver. While employed as a driver by Defendant First Class, Mr. Parker was supervised by both Michel and Kristen Ziade.

         Ms. Ziade identified deposition exhibit 2 as the Plaintiff's policy issued to Defendant First Class. Ms. Ziade testified that the policy was endorsed to remove the Sexual and/or Physical Abuse Liability Coverage Form, before the death of Michel Ziade. She and Michel made this change because First Class had stopped doing business with Logisticare, a Medicaid transportation company in Missouri, which required this coverage. Ms. Ziade instructed her assistant Mindy Willis to cancel or remove this coverage. Via e-mail correspondence dated May 12, 2015, Mindy Willis requested the removal of the Sexual and/or Physical Abuse Liability Coverage Form. The actual policy endorsement appears at the second, third and fourth pages of Exhibit B-2. It states that the endorsement is effective May 8, 2015. It states that the following form(s) have been deleted: GL 00 01 01/09 Sexual and/or Physical Abuse Liability Coverage Form. It states that the following form(s) have been added: CG 21 46 07/98 Abuse Or Molestation Exclusion. It further states that all other terms and conditions of the policy remain the same.

         Ms. Ziade testified that Willie Parker had been employed by Defendant First Class for about two years prior to the shooting. About one month before the shooting, Mr. Parker asked Michel to loan him some money. Mr. Parker asked for $3, 000, and Michel decided to loan him $1, 500. They planned to deduct $200 per week from his paycheck until the loan was repaid. About two weeks before the shooting, Mr. Parker started acting strange. When customers would get into the van and ask his name, he would say his name was God or he would say his name was Driver. He started loading wheelchair-bound patients into the van backwards, facing the rear instead of facing forward. Michel spoke to Mr. Parker, and told him to load the customers properly and to give his real name.

         On July 28, 2015, Willie Parker shot Michel at the Kansas University Medical Center. It was a coincidence that they met at the K.U. Medical Center. Mr. Parker was arrested approximately one week after the shooting. Ms. Ziade testified that the investigating detective informed her that the motive for the shooting was that Mr. Parker felt disrespected by Mr. Ziade, so he killed him. Mr. Parker has been charged with the crime and found competent to stand trial; his trial is set for July 12, 2017.

         Ms. Ziade testified that an investigation into the shooting was conducted on behalf of Defendant First Class. The drivers were all brought into a room and interviewed. Ms. Ziade testified that attorney Ben Schmidt was representing her, and she further testified that attorney Ben Schmidt was working with attorneys Edward Williams and Gregory Eufinger.

         A certified copy of ASI policy number GL-0240000043-01 issued to First Class appears in the docket as exhibit “B” to ASI's Complaint for Declaratory Judgment. (Doc. No. 1-2, filed 1/24/16, page 1 of 66). The policy was issued by Integrated Insurance Agency located in Missouri, and delivered to First Class at its mailing address located in Missouri. The policy period is October 21, 2014 to October 21, 2015. The policy provides Commercial General Liability Coverage, subject to all of its terms, conditions, limitations, definitions and exclusions. The Schedule of Forms and Endorsements lists the various forms and endorsements which were part of the policy as originally issued. Among the listed forms and endorsements are the following:

CG 00 01 04/13 Commercial General Liability Coverage Form
GL 00 04 06/13 Exclusion - Assault Or Battery
GL 00 01 01/09 Sexual and/or Physical Abuse Liability Coverage Form.

         The policy also includes Endorsement number 1, effective May 8, 2015. Endorsement number 1 states as follows:

The following forms(s) have been deleted: GL 00 01 01/09, Sexual and/or Physical Abuse Liability Coverage Form.
The following form(s) have been added: CG 21 46 07/98, Abuse Or Molestation Exclusion.
All other terms and conditions remain the same.

         The endorsement shows that this policy change resulted in a premium credit to First Class of $1, 092.00. The insuring ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.