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Monday, January 08, 2007

Ind. Decisions - 7th Circuit decides 2 Indiana cases, Friday and today

Boyer v. Belavilas (ND Ind., Judge Springmann) - bankruptcy

In Clark, Merry v. State Farm Mutual (SD Ind., Judge Tinder), a 12-page opinion, Judge Manion writes:

Merry Clark, on behalf of her two minor children A.C. and S.C., sued State Farm Mutual Auto Insurance Company (“State Farm”), alleging that State Farm breached the terms of its insurance policy’s underinsured motor vehicle (“UIM”) provision when it denied the Clark children’s UIM claims. The district court concluded that the driver of the automobile that injured the Clark children was not operating an underinsured motor vehicle as defined by Indiana’s underinsured motorist statute. Accordingly, the district court held that the Clark children were not entitled to recovery under the terms of the policy’s UIM provision and granted summary judgment in favor of State Farm. The Clark children appealed. We affirm. * * *

The district court granted summary judgment in favor of State Farm because Akers was not operating an underinsured motor vehicle as defined by Indiana Code § 27-7-5-4(b), since the Clarks’ collective recovery from Akers’ insurer was equal to the UIM per-accident liability limit in State Farm’s policy. The district court’s analysis was in accord with Indiana case law interpreting § 27-7-5-4(b), and it was reinforced by the Court of Appeals of Indiana’s recent decision in Grange Insurance Co. v. Graham, 843 N.E.2d 597 (Ind. Ct. App. 2006). Accordingly, the district court’s grant of summary judgment is AFFIRMED.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on January 8, 2007 02:44 PM
Posted to Ind. (7th Cir.) Decisions