United States District Court, W.D. Missouri, Western Division
ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR PARTIAL
SUMMARY JUDGMENT AND GRANTING DEFENDANTS' MOTION FOR
KAYS, CHIEF JUDGE.
suit concerns the underinsured coverage of insurance policies
issued to Plaintiff Ricky Greer (“Plaintiff”) by
Defendants Progressive Northwestern Insurance Company
(“Progressive Northwestern”) and Progressive
Casualty Insurance Company (“Progressive
Casualty”). Plaintiff had two separate insurance
policies: one with Progressive Northwestern for a 2015 Harley
Davidson Motorcycle (“Harley Policy”); and one
with Progressive Casualty for a 1993 Chevrolet C3500 and a
1990 Mazda Miata (“Chevy and Mazda Policy”). Both
policies contained underinsured motorist (“UIM”)
August 2, 2015, Plaintiff was involved in an accident with
another driver while riding his 2015 Harley Davidson
Motorcycle. He claims his damages from the accident exceed
$350, 000. Plaintiff recovered $100, 000 from the other
driver's insurance company, and demanded payment from his
own insurance providers pursuant to his UIM coverage.
Defendants denied Plaintiff's claims under each of the
then filed this action in the Circuit Court of Jackson
County, Missouri, seeking payment of his UIM benefits and
asserting a claim for vexatious refusal to pay under Missouri
Revised Statute § 375.420. Defendants timely removed
this action to the federal district court by invoking the
Court's diversity jurisdiction.
before the Court are the parties' cross motions for
summary judgment: Plaintiff's Motion for Partial Summary
Judgment (Doc. 16) and Defendants' Motion for Summary
Judgment (Doc. 19). For the reasons set forth below,
Plaintiff's motion is DENIED and Defendants' motion
purposes of deciding these motions, the Court finds the
relevant facts to be as follows.
August 2, 2015, Plaintiff was riding his 2015 Harley Davidson
motorcycle (the “Harley”) when another
motorcyclist, James Blaylock (“Blaylock”) struck
him, causing Plaintiff to lose control and sustain bodily
injury. Blaylock was insured by a policy providing for
liability coverage of $100, 000, and that amount was tendered
to Plaintiff after the accident.
then sent a demand for UIM benefits to Progressive
Northwestern and Progressive Casualty under the Harley,
Chevy, and Mazda policies. In his demand, Plaintiff asserted
his injuries were in excess of $250, 000, and he was owed
$150, 000 under the insurance policies. Progressive
Casualty and Progressive Northwestern denied Plaintiff's
claims for UIM benefits. In denying his claims under the
Chevy and Mazda Policy, Progressive Casualty asserted: (1)
Plaintiff was not an “insured person” under the
policies; (2) the Harley was owned by or available for the
regular use of Plaintiff; and (3) Blaylock's vehicle was
not an “underinsured motor vehicle.” Progressive
Cas. Denial Letter, Def.'s Ex. F (Doc. 20-6). Progressive
Northwestern denied Plaintiff's claim under the Harley
Policy because Blaylock's vehicle was not an
“underinsured motor vehicle.” Progressive
Northwestern Denial Letter, Def.'s Ex. G (Doc. 20-7).
Chevy and Mazda Policy was issued by Progressive Casualty and
contains the following relevant language:
“Auto” means a land motor vehicle: a. of the
private passenger, pickup body, or cargo van type; b.
designed for operation principally upon public roads; c. with
at least four wheels; and d. with a gross vehicle weight
rating of 12, 000 pounds or less, according to the
. . .
“Covered auto” means: a. any auto or trailer
shown on the declarations page for the coverages applicable
to that auto or trailer; b. any additional auto; c. any
replacement auto; or d. a trailer owned by you.
. . .
“Replacement auto” means an auto that permanently
replaces an auto shown on the declarations page. A
replacement auto will have the same coverage as the auto it
replaces if the replacement auto is not covered by any other
insurance policy . . . .
. . .
“Insured person” means:
a. you or a relative;
(1) while occupying an auto; or . . .
b. any person occupying a covered auto with the permission of
you or a relative; and c. any person who is entitled to
recover damages covered by this Part III(B) because of bodily
injury sustained by a person described in (a) or (b) above.
“Underinsured motor vehicle” means a land motor
vehicle or trailer of any type for which the sum of the
limits of liability under all bodily injury liability bonds
or policies applicable at the time of the accident is less
than whichever of the following is shown on the declarations
page for Underinsured Motorist Coverage: (a) the “Each
Person Dollar Amount” to be used in determining the
“Underinsured Motorist Limit - Each Person” . . .
. An “underinsured motor vehicle” does not
include any vehicle or ...