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Thursday, October 27, 2005

Ind. Decisions - Supreme Court rules on standing, diminution of value, and dimunition as it applies to uninsured motorist coverage

In Indiana Association of Beverage Retailers (IABR), et al. v. Indiana Alcohol and Tobacco Commission, et al. (5/25/04 IndCtApp) the Indiana Court of Appeals reversed the trial court, concluding that "IABR did, indeed, have standing in this case". See 5/25/04 ILB entry here (3rd case). The Supreme Court granted transfer and today sided with the trial court. In the unanimous 6-page opinion, Justice Boehm writes:

The Administrative Orders and Procedures Act sets forth the standing requirements for a person seeking judicial review of an agency’s action. Because the Indiana Association of Bever-age Retailers was not a party to the administrative proceedings before the Indiana Alcohol and Tobacco Commission, the Association did not have standing to seek judicial review of the agency’s action.
In a much anticipated decision, Justice Boehm writes in Christina M. Allgood, Individually and on behalf of all others similarily situated v. Meridian Security Insurance Company today:
We hold that an insurance policy that provides coverage for loss limited to the lesser of the actual cash value or the amount necessary to repair or replace the property with other prop-erty of like kind and quality does not obligate the insurer to compensate for diminution in value of the property after adequate repairs have been made.
In James B. Dunn, on behalf of himself and others similarily situated v. Meridian Mutual Insurance Company , an Indiana Corporation n/k/a State Automobile Insurance Company, an Ohio Corporation, Justice Boehm writes:
We hold that uninsured motorist coverage of an automobile policy covers the liability of an uninsured motorist to the insured. If the insured’s vehicle is damaged by an uninsured motor-
ist and the insurer chooses to repair the vehicle, the insurer must pay any diminished value of the insured’s vehicle, in addition to any costs of repair up to the policy limits.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on October 27, 2005 01:49 PM
Posted to Ind. Sup.Ct. Decisions