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Thursday, March 13, 2014

Ind. Decisions - A third opinion today from the Supreme Court

In Howard Justice v. American Family Insurance Company, a 13-page, 4-1 opinion, Jutcie Massa writes:

This case raises a question of contract interpretation: in an insurance policy, does the phrase “limits of liability of this coverage” refer to the policy limit or to the insured’s total damages? We believe it is the former, but because this particular set-off would reduce the policy limit below the statutory minimum, we reverse the trial court. * * *

Conclusion. We therefore reverse the trial court’s grant of summary judgment to American Family and remand for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.

Rucker, David, and Rush, JJ., concur.
Dickson, C.J., concurs with Parts B and C but, contrary to Part A, believes that the workers’ compensation setoff provision cannot apply to reduce benefits payable under the underinsured motorist policy because the policy expressly excludes coverage of injuries eligible for workers’ compensation.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on March 13, 2014 05:03 PM
Posted to Ind. Sup.Ct. Decisions