Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Williams v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co.

Decided: February 16, 1968.

ROBERT E. WILLIAMS, PLAINTIFF,
v.
STATE FARM MUTUAL AUTOMOBILE INSURANCE COMPANY, A CORPORATION OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, DEFENDANT



Salvest, J.s.c.

Salvest

Defendant insurer has moved for summary judgment. The question before the court is whether, under the terms of the insurance policy as written, a husband's claim for loss of services and medical expenses is included under the $25,000 limit of liability for bodily injury to one person, or under the $100,000 limit for two or more persons.

The applicable provision in the policy is:

"(1) State Farm agrees to pay all damages which the insured shall become legally obligated to pay because of

(A) bodily injury sustained by other persons, Limits of liability * * * Coverage A, $25,000 for all damages arising out of bodily injury sustained by one person in any one accident and subject to this provision $100,000 for two or more persons in any one occurrence."

"Damages whenever used with respect to coverage A, includes damages for care and loss of service."

After a careful consideration of the cases, it is my conclusion that the husband's claim for loss of services and medical expenses are included within the $25,000 limit of liability; in other words, all damage claims, direct and consequential, resulting from injury to one person, are subject to the $25,000 limitation. The husband's per quod claim is a loss resulting from a single injury suffered by his wife. The $25,000 limit provided by the policy is not a limit upon the amount which may be received by one person. It is a limit on the total amount which may be recovered for injury to one person. It matters not how many may legally share in the recovery; the total recovered from the company cannot exceed the limits of its liability under its contract for injury to one person. Napier v. Banks, 9 Ohio App. 2 d 265, 224 N.E. 2 d 158 (Ct. App. 1967).

The case at bar is one in which, as a result of direct physical injury to one person, another suffers consequential damages in the nature of medical expense or loss of service or

consortium. In such cases, the contention has frequently been made that for purposes of the limitation of liability clause, the claim for consequential damages should be treated separately from the claim for direct physical injury, and that each claim should be allowed up to the maximum provided for an injury to one person. This argument has been accepted in cases where the policy spoke in terms of a limitation of the amount payable for " personal injury " to one person, the courts taking the view that this term is broad enough to encompass a claim for injury, personal to the claimant, although flowing from physical injury to another. Malone v. Costa, 151 Fla. 144, 9 So. 2 d 275 (Sup. Ct. 1942); Gaouette v. Aetna Life Ins. Co., 253 App. Div. 388, 2 N.Y.S. 2 d 497 (App. Div. 1938).

In these cases, where the limitations on recovery are written in terms of maximum recovery for "personal injury" to one person, rather than "bodily injury," the courts have held that liability for consequential damages suffered by one other than the person directly physically injured, might be treated as a separate claim from the claim for direct physical injury, for purposes of applying the limitation provision, so that there could be recovery for the consequential damages, notwithstanding payment of the maximum for the direct injury. Nuzzi v. U.S. Casualty Co., 121 N.J.L. 249 (E. & A. 1938). Annotation "Construction and application of provision in liability policy limiting the amount of insurer's liability to one person," 13 A.L.R. 3 d 1228 (1967).

However, under policies fixing a maximum recovery for bodily injury to one person, the limitation is applicable to all claims of damage flowing from such bodily injury, and it is therefore, immaterial that some part of the damages may be claimed by a person other than the one suffering the bodily injuries. All damage claims, direct and consequential, resulting from injury to one person, are subject to the limitation. See, generally, the cases ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.