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Question about residency leads to reversal in insurance case

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Because a genuine issue of material fact exists as to whether a teenager lived with his mother or father, an appellate panel has remanded the matter for trial.

In Omni Insurance Group v. Lake Poage, Tonya Poage, Cody Bauer, Jill Bauer, Gary Bauer, and Allstate Insurance Company, No. 92A03-1105-CT-208, Omni Insurance Group appealed summary judgment for Allstate Insurance Co.; Lake and Tonya Poage; and Cody, Jill and Gary Bauer (known collectively as the Poages).

In 2008, Cody Bauer was driving a car owned by his mother, Treva Bauer, when he collided with a motorcycle driven by Lake Poage. Treva was insured by Omni, and her policy provided liability coverage to Treva, the named insured, to family members who used Treva’s car, and to anyone who used her car with her permission. But the policy excluded liability for coverage of bodily injury resulting from the use of a vehicle by “any resident, including a family member, of your household who is not listed in the Declarations page.” The policy doesn’t define “resident.”

Cody was not listed on Treva’s declarations page.

On the date of the collision, Cody was spending the night at Treva’s residence. Treva shared joint legal custody of Cody with Cody’s father. Cody had his own bedroom at both residences and kept belongings at both places. He considered both residences to be his home. At the time of the collision, Treva was moving from Churubusco to Columbia City, and when she moved Cody changed schools. Cody used his father’s address on his driver’s license and received his mail there. Cody was a listed driver on his father’s policy, but not Treva’s.

The Court of Appeals held that pursuant to the policy language, if Cody was a resident of Treva’s household, Omni was entitled to summary judgment because Cody was not listed on the declarations page. If he was not a resident of Treva’s household, the Poages were entitled to summary judgment, as Cody was driving Treva’s car with her permission. Because there is a genuine issue of fact as to his residency, the court found that summary judgment was not appropriate and remanded the matter for trial.
 

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  1. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

  2. As a lawyer who grew up in Fort Wayne (but went to a real law school), it is not that hard to find a mentor in the legal community without your school's assistance. One does not need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to an unaccredited legal diploma mill to get a mentor. Having a mentor means precisely nothing if you cannot get a job upon graduation, and considering that the legal job market is utterly terrible, these students from Indiana Tech are going to be adrift after graduation.

  3. 700,000 to 800,000 Americans are arrested for marijuana possession each year in the US. Do we need a new justice center if we decriminalize marijuana by having the City Council enact a $100 fine for marijuana possession and have the money go towards road repair?

  4. I am sorry to hear this.

  5. I tried a case in Judge Barker's court many years ago and I recall it vividly as a highlight of my career. I don't get in federal court very often but found myself back there again last Summer. We had both aged a bit but I must say she was just as I had remembered her. Authoritative, organized and yes, human ...with a good sense of humor. I also appreciated that even though we were dealing with difficult criminal cases, she treated my clients with dignity and understanding. My clients certainly respected her. Thanks for this nice article. Congratulations to Judge Barker for reaching another milestone in a remarkable career.

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