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Nadeau v. OBE Specialty Ins. Co.

Superior Court of Connecticut, Judicial District of Hartford, Hartford

November 2, 2015

Christine Nadeau
v.
OBE Specialty Insurance Co. et al

MEMORANDUM OF DECISION

Constance L. Epstein, J.

Plaintiff seeks underinsured motorist (UM) benefits from the defendants, the Travelers Insurance Company (Travelers) and the Regent Insurance Company (Regent).[1] Each of these defendants has moved for the entry of summary judgment on the basis that their policies do not provide UM benefits for the plaintiff in this matter.

Underlying Facts

On March 11, 2011, Christine Nadeau, in the course of her employment, had visited customers in Plainville, Connecticut. Prior to continuing on to Southington to visit other customers, Ms. Nadeau stopped at the Shop Rite plaza in Southington and purchased salad dressing in the supermarket there, planning to eat her salad in her car before travelling on to her next appointment. After exiting the store with her purchase, Ms. Nadeau started walking to return to her car, and after she had stepped off the sidewalk into the crosswalk, she was struck by a passing vehicle. At the time of the collision, Ms. Nadeau was about two to three feet away from the curb and fifty feet away from her car.

The vehicle operated by Ms. Nadeau on that day was her own personal vehicle and was not insured under either of the policies under which she is making claim in this case. Ms. Nadeau is asserting a claim against Regent, the automobile insurance carrier for plaintiff's employer, and Travelers, the automobile insurance carrier for the limited liability company of which plaintiff's husband is a member.

Discussion

The Connecticut General Assembly has mandated that each and every automobile liability insurance policy shall provide UM coverage for " the protection of persons insured thereunder" who are legally entitled to recover damages from the " owners or operators of uninsured motor vehicles and underinsured motor vehicles . . ." General Statutes Section 38a-336(a)(1).

Regent issued a commercial automobile policy to Record Journal Publishing Company, plaintiff's employer and the named insured on the policy. The pertinent portions of the Regent policy are as follows:

A. Coverage
We will pay all sums the " insured" is legally entitled to recover as compensatory damages from the owner or driver of an " underinsured motor vehicle or " underinsured motor vehicle." The damages must result from " bodily injury" sustained by the " insured" caused by an " accident."

B. Who is an Insured

If the Named Insured is designated in the ...

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