United States District Court, W.D. Missouri, Western Division
QUENTON SHELBY, Individually and on Behalf of Others Similarly Situated, Plaintiff,
OAK RIVER INSURANCE COMPANY, Defendant.
ORDER GRANTING SUMMARY JUDGMENT
KAYS, CHIEF JUDGE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
lawsuit is an attempt to recover on an uncontested judgment
entered in state court. This dispute originated in a separate
lawsuit (“the underlying litigation”) brought by
a used car dealer, Miller Investment Group
(“MIG”), against Plaintiff Quenton Shelby
(“Shelby”) for a deficiency on his secured car
loan. In response to MIG's suit, Plaintiff filed a
class-action counter-claim alleging MIG violated the UCC and
engaged in a deceptive pattern in repossessing cars. MIG
subsequently entered into a class-wide settlement with
Plaintiff and assigned any claims it had against its insurers
to Plaintiff and the other class members. Plaintiff
subsequently filed this lawsuit seeking to recover under
insurance policies issued by Defendant Oak River Insurance
Company (“Oak River”) for a “garage
business.” Now before the Court is Oak River's
motion for summary judgment (Doc. 23). Holding that Oak River
owed no duty to defend or indemnify MIG because the
underlying claims did not stem from “garage operations,
” the motion is GRANTED.
moving party is entitled to summary judgment “if the
movant 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). The nonmoving party
may resist summary judgment by asserting affirmative
defenses, but it must support these defenses with specific
facts. Hiland Partners GP Holdings, LLC v. Nat'l
Union Fire Ins. Co., 847 F.3d 594, 601 (8th Cir. 2017).
purposes of resolving this motion, the Court finds the
material, undisputed facts to be as follows. The Court
acknowledges the parties submitted numerous other facts which
are relevant to Oak River's many arguments concerning
summary judgment. Because the Court holds Oak River's
first argument is dispositive, it includes only those facts
relevant to its first argument.
River issued a series of Commercial Garage Liability Policies
to MIG from 2008 to 2013 (“the Policies”). The
policy terms at issue in this litigation are the same in all
of the Policies.
Declarations page of the Policies accurately described
MIG's business as a used car dealer. The Insuring
Agreement stated that Oak River will “pay all sums an
‘insured' legally must pay as damages because of
‘bodily injury' or ‘property damage' . .
. caused by an ‘accident' and resulting from
‘garage operations' . . .”
Policies defined “garage operations” as:
the ownership, maintenance, or use of locations for garage
business and that portion of the roads or other accesses that
adjoin these locations. “Garage operations”
includes the ownership, maintenance or use of the
“autos” indicated in Section I of this coverage
form as covered “autos.” “Garage
operations” also include all operations necessary or
incidental to the performance of “garage
a used car dealer with locations in Kansas and Missouri which
also finances purchases for its customers. MIG sells used
cars to many customers by having the customer enter into a
retail installment contract and security agreement.
purchased a car from MIG and entered into a form retail
installment contract and security agreement for that purpose
(“the security agreement”). Shelby allegedly
failed to make payments as required under the security
agreement, and so MIG accelerated Shelby's payments,
repossessed the car, and initiated the underlying litigation
against Shelby seeking the deficiency balance.
response, Shelby filed a one count class action counterclaim
against MIG alleging that MIG failed to comply with the UCC.
The counterclaim specifically alleged that after repossessing
his car, MIG sent Shelby and numerous other class members
presale notices, a/k/a notices of sale, that did not comply
with the UCC adopted by each class member's
state. The counterclaim primarily concerned the
presale notices,  although it included other UCC violations.
The counterclaim did not contain any claim for negligence,
did it allege causes of action for wrongful repossession,
libel, slander, defamation, or invasion of privacy. The
counterclaim sought “statutory minimum damages in the
amount provided by § 9-625(c)(2) of the UCC, ”
damages equal to the “time price differential,
delinquency and collection charges” under §
365.145 Mo. ...