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Farm Family Casualty Insurance Co. v. Burke

United States District Court, D. Connecticut

October 1, 2007

FARM FAMILY CASUALTY INSURANCE COMPANY, Plaintiff,
v.
SCARLETT L. BURKE, RYAN BOYLE, ppa MATTHEW BOYLE and NANCY BOYLE, and MATTHEW BOYLE and NANCY BOYLE, individually, Defendants.

          Filed: October 1, 2007.

         COUNSEL:

          For Farm Family Casualty Ins Co., Plaintiff: Brian J. Gedicks, LEAD ATTORNEY, Halloran & Sage-Hartford, Hartford, CT; Daniel P. Scapellati, LEAD ATTORNEY, Halloran & Sage, Hartford, CT.

          For Scarlett L. Burke, Defendant: James Edward O'Donnell, LEAD ATTORNEY, O'Donnell, McDonald & Cregeen, Fairfield, CT.

          For Ryan Boyle, Matthew Boyle & Nancy Boyle, PPA, Defendant: Kathleen L. Nastri, LEAD ATTORNEY, Koskoff, Koskoff & Bieder, P.C., Bridgeport, CT; Michael P. Koskoff, Koskoff, Koskoff & Bieder, P.C., Bridgeport, CT.

          For Matthew Boyle, Ind., Defendant: Kathleen L. Nastri, LEAD ATTORNEY, Koskoff, Koskoff & Bieder, P.C., Bridgeport, CT; Michael P. Koskoff, Koskoff, Koskoff & Bieder, P.C., Bridgeport, CT.

          For Nancy Boyle, Ind., Defendant: Kathleen L. Nastri, LEAD ATTORNEY, Koskoff, Koskoff & Bieder, P.C., Bridgeport, CT; Michael P. Koskoff, Koskoff, Koskoff & Bieder, P.C., Bridgeport, CT.

          MEMORANDUM OF DECISION ON PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT

          Warren W. Eginton, Senior United States District Judge.

         This action arises from plaintiff Farm Family Casualty Insurance Co.'s ("FFCI") claim that it is not obligated to provide indemnification to defendant Scarlet Burke regarding claims made by the other named defendants, Ryan Boyle, ppa Matthew Boyle and Nancy Boyle, and Matthew Boyle and Nancy Boyle, individually (collectively, "defendants") arising from a personal injury lawsuit currently pending in the Connecticut Superior Court. In its motion for summary judgment, FFCI seeks a declaratory judgment of its rights and obligations pursuant to a Farm Family Umbrella Policy issued to plaintiff and in effect at the time of the accident. In the alternative, FFCI maintains that partial summary judgment is warranted because the FFCI Policy bars coverage for punitive or exemplary damages.[1] Defendants object to plaintiff's motion, claiming that said policy is ambiguous and that genuine issues of material fact preclude the granting of summary judgment.

         BACKGROUND

         On October 13, 2003, Burke was the driver of a truck involved in a motor vehicle accident in which Ryan Boyle, a minor, suffered severe multiple injuries. Ryan Boyle, Matthew Boyle and Nancy Boyle filed a lawsuit in the Connecticut Superior Court for the Judicial District of Fairfield (Ryan Boyle, ppa Matthew Boyle and Nancy Boyle, et al. v. Kenneth Novak, et al., Docket # FBT-CV-04-4003712-S), claiming that Ryan's injuries were caused by Burke's negligence, and seeking to recover damages from Burke.

         At the time of the accident, Burke was the named insured under an FFCI Personal Auto Policy No. 0601P636-1 with coverage limits of $ 250,000 and an FFCI Umbrella Policy No. 0601B1203 with coverage limits of $ 1,000,000. She was also the named insured under an Allstate Insurance Co. ("Allstate") Automobile Liability Policy No. 919255332 with coverage limits of $ 300,000 and an Allstate Personal Umbrella Policy No. 91955846 with coverage limits of $ 1,000,000. All policies were in effect on October 13, 2003.

         The FFCI Umbrella Policy provides, in relevant part:

         AGREEMENT

We will provide the insurance described in this policy if you:

1. are a Farm Bureau member at the time of application and all subsequent renewals;

2. have paid the premium;

3. have complied with the policy provisions. . . .

         PART I

...


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