Posts tagged "1017217"

Great Divide Insurance Company v. Lexington Insurance Company (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-172-17)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.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; SJCReporter@sjc.state.ma.us   SJC-12164   GREAT DIVIDE INSURANCE COMPANY  vs.  LEXINGTON INSURANCE COMPANY.       Suffolk.     March 6, 2017. – November 1, 2017.   Present:  Gants, C.J., Lenk, Hines, Gaziano, Lowy, & Budd, JJ.[1]     Motor Vehicle, Insurance.  Insurance, Motor vehicle insurance, Excess liability insurance.       Certification of a question of law to the Supreme Judicial Court by the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts.     Adam R. Doherty (Thomas M. Elcock also present) for the plaintiff. Kimberly A. Hartman, of Illinois, for the defendant.     GAZIANO, J.  In this case we answer a certified question from the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts concerning the priority of coverage of two automobile insurance policies that both covered a single motor vehicle accident.  The accident occurred when an employee of a refuse company, driving a garbage truck owned by another company, struck and killed a bicyclist.  The policies were issued respectively by the plaintiff and defendant insurers to the employer of the driver and the company that owned the truck.[2]  A portion of the loss was covered by a primary insurance policy from a third insurance company, not a party here.  The two policies at issue were triggered, according to the language in each policy, after the exhaustion of the primary policy.  Although the relevant language of the policies differs, each policy states that it provides “excess” coverage[3] (in the circumstances here) and each policy also contains an “other insurance” clause.[4]  As the Federal District Court judge noted in his certification order, the circumstances here involve a question of first impression, because one of the two policies is a “hybrid” policy that provides primary coverage for an incident where its insured is driving a vehicle owned by the insured, and excess coverage for an accident where its insured is the driver but is driving a vehicle owned by someone else.  The other policy is a “true . . . umbrella” policy that provides only excess coverage where other coverage has been exhausted.  For the reasons that follow, we conclude that both excess policies cover the accident equally, after exhaustion of the underlying primary policy, to the extent of their respective policy limits. Background and procedural history.  The undisputed facts are drawn from the decision of the Federal District Court judge certifying the question to this […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - November 1, 2017 at 4:07 pm

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