RRD Partners Obtain Order and Opinion of the Third Circuit Court of Appeals Affirming Summary Judgment in Favor of Client
Brad Vance, Chair of Reger Rizzo & Darnall’s Insurance Practices Group, along with Litigation Partner, Rob Foster, successfully obtained an order and opinion of the Third Circuit Court of Appeals affirming summary judgment in favor of his client, Farmland Mutual Insurance Company.
In the case, Farmland Mutual Insurance Company v. Debra Lynn Sechrist, Et Al., Plaintiffs sustained catastrophic injuries during an automobile accident while driving a vehicle for their employer, Clouse Trucking. Plaintiffs sought to collect underinsured motorist benefits from Mr. Vance’s client, Farmland Mutual Insurance Company (Farmland), who insured Clouse Trucking.
At issue was the amount of underinsured motorist coverage provided under Farmland’s policy. The Clouse Trucking policy contained $1 million in bodily injury liability coverage. Plaintiffs argued that the policy should provide $1 million in underinsured motorist benefits because the election form did not clearly identify the amount Clouse Trucking elected for underinsured motorist coverage. The Middle District Federal Court granted summary judgment in favor of Farmland, finding that the Application and other policy documents constituted a valid written request by Clouse Trucking for underinsured motorist coverage in an amount less than the policy liability limits.
Plaintiffs appealed the District Court’s ruling, arguing that the order granting summary judgment to Farmland must be reversed because the election of underinsured motorist coverage did not comply with the requirements of the Pennsylvania Motor Vehicle Financial Responsibility Law Section 1734.
Mr. Vance successfully argued that Clouse Trucking validly “waived” underinsured motorist coverage equal to the bodily injury liability coverage, pursuant to the MVFRL Section 1734, and was granted summary judgment by the United States Third Circuit Court of Appeals last week.