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Accident not covered under insurance policy

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A man who was involved in a car accident while riding in his friend’s vehicle lost his appeal in which he argued that his friend’s car was a temporary substitute for his own and he should be entitled to underinsured motorist coverage.

Mark Gasser and three friends scheduled a time to play golf, but on that day, the battery was dead in his pickup truck. His girlfriend was driving his other car, so Gasser asked friend Rex Kamman to pick him up. On their way to the golf course, they were involved in a collision.

Gasser’s cars were owned by his business, and he had them insured with Auto-Owners Insurance Co. His policy states that it applies to a car that “you do not own which is temporarily used as a substitute for your automobile. Your automobile must be out of use because of breakdown, repair, servicing, loss or destruction.”

Only once has the Court of Appeals addressed a car being a “temporary substitute” for insurance purposes, Deadwiler v. Chicago Motor Club Ins. Co., 603, N.E.29 1365 (Ind. Ct. App. 1992). Deadwiler addressed the “temporary substitute” issue for the first time and determined that a daughter’s car was not a “temporary substitute vehicle” covered under her mother’s policy. The daughter went to check on her sister after being asked by her mother to do so and was involved in an accident. The court held the daughter’s actions were characterized as a favor to her mother rather than as fulfillment of a prior contractual or legal obligation owed to her mother.

The court in Mark Gasser v. Lesa B. Downing, Auto-Owners Insurance Co. and Property Owners Insurance Co., No. 19A05-1108-PL-419, ruled Gasser’s ride to the golf course is similarly a “favor” by Kamman, so Auto-Owners was entitled to summary judgment.

 

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  1. A sad end to a prolific gadfly. Indiana has suffered a great loss in the journalistic realm.

  2. Good riddance to this dangerous activist judge

  3. What is the one thing the Hoosier legal status quo hates more than a whistleblower? A lawyer whistleblower taking on the system man to man. That must never be rewarded, must always, always, always be punished, lest the whole rotten tree be felled.

  4. I want to post this to keep this tread alive and hope more of David's former clients might come forward. In my case, this coward of a man represented me from June 2014 for a couple of months before I fired him. I knew something was wrong when he blatantly lied about what he had advised me in my contentious and unfortunate divorce trial. His impact on the proceedings cast a very long shadow and continues to impact me after a lengthy 19 month divorce. I would join a class action suit.

  5. The dispute in LB Indiana regarding lake front property rights is typical of most beach communities along our Great Lakes. Simply put, communication to non owners when visiting the lakefront would be beneficial. The Great Lakes are designated navigational waters (including shorelines). The high-water mark signifies the area one is able to navigate. This means you can walk, run, skip, etc. along the shores. You can't however loiter, camp, sunbath in front of someones property. Informational signs may be helpful to owners and visitors. Our Great Lakes are a treasure that should be enjoyed by all. PS We should all be concerned that the Long Beach, Indiana community is on septic systems.

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