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Golchin v. Liberty Mutual Insurance Company (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-149-13)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.  If you find a typographical error or other formal error, please notify the Reporter of Decisions, Supreme Judicial Court, John Adams Courthouse, 1 Pemberton Square, Suite 2500, Boston, MA 02108-1750;  (617) 557-1030;     SJC‑11305   DIANE GOLCHIN  vs.  LIBERTY MUTUAL INSURANCE COMPANY.     Worcester.     April 2, 2013.  ‑  August 8, 2013. Present:  Ireland, C.J., Spina, Cordy, Botsford, Gants, Duffly, & Lenk, JJ.     Practice, Civil, Judgment on the pleadings.  Contract, Insurance.  Insurance, Motor vehicle insurance, Construction of policy, Medical supplementary coverage, Coverage.       Civil action commenced in the Superior Court Department on September 30, 2008.   The case was heard by John D. McCann, J., on a motion for judgment on the pleadings.   The Supreme Judicial Court granted an application for direct appellate review.     Kenneth D. Quat (Elliot Beresen with him) for the plaintiff. Myles W. McDonough (Christopher M. Reilly with him) for the defendant. E. Michael Sloman, for Automobile Insurers Bureau, amicus curiae, submitted a brief. Timothy C. Kelleher, Michael C. Najjar, & J. Michael Conley, for Massachusetts Academy of Trial Attorneys, amicus curiae, submitted a brief.     BOTSFORD, J.  This is the second time this court has considered the present case.  Again, the issue presented is whether a claimant may seek medical expense benefits under the “medical payments” coverage (MedPay) offered in a standard Massachusetts automobile insurance policy (auto policy) where those expenses were covered and paid under the claimant’s separate policy of health insurance.  In Golchin v. Liberty Mut. Ins. Co., 460 Mass. 222, 236-237 (2011) (Golchin I), we reversed the order dismissing the complaint filed in the Superior Court by the claimant, Diane Golchin, against Liberty Mutual Insurance Company (Liberty Mutual), concluding that Golchin had alleged facts sufficient to raise an actionable right to relief.  Today, we conclude that Golchin is entitled to the MedPay benefits provided by her auto insurance policy, notwithstanding that the medical expenses at issue were covered by and paid under a separate policy of health insurance.  We therefore reverse the judgment of the Superior Court allowing Liberty Mutual’smotion for judgment on the pleadings.[1] 1.  Background.  We briefly summarize the facts that are pertinent to this appeal, as alleged in the complaint and contained in extrinsic documents introduced by the parties before the motion judge.[2]   Golchin sustained significant personal injuries, resulting in medical expenses in excess of $ 100,000, when she was involved in a motor vehicle accident as an occupant of her husband’s car.  The car was insured under an auto policy issued by Liberty Mutual […]


Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - August 9, 2013 at 5:17 am

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