ILNews

Court grants transfer to uninsured motorist case

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The Indiana Supreme Court has granted transfer to a case about whether an insurance company's automobile policy violates the state's uninsured motorist statute.

The issue in Maggie and Leonard Bush v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co., No. 71A03-0706-CV-286, is whether State Farm's policy violates the state's uninsured motorist statute because it requires an insured person sustain bodily injury and not just damages because of the conduct of an uninsured driver before uninsured motorist benefits are available.

The Bushes' son was killed in a car accident in New Mexico in which he was the passenger in a car driven by an uninsured motorist. The driver was negligent in the accident. The son didn't live with his parents nor did he have his own auto insurance policy, but the Bushes had a policy with State Farm.

They filed a claim for uninsured motorist benefits to compensate them for the damages they suffered as a result of their son's death; State Farm denied the claim because the son wasn't insured under the policy because he didn't live with his parents at the time of his death. The claim was also denied because the Bushes didn't suffer "bodily injury" as defined under the policy.

The trial court granted State Farm summary judgment on the Bushes' complaint for breach of contract and declaratory judgment. The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed, with the majority finding State Farm's policy, which purports to limit recovery of uninsured motorist benefits only to situations when the insured sustains bodily injury, violates Indiana's uninsured motorist statute. The majority remanded with instructions to enter summary judgment in favor of the Bushes.

Judge Michael Barnes dissented because he didn't believe the Bushes were covered under Indiana's uninsured motorist statute under the set of facts in this case.

The case was granted transfer Oct. 9 but wasn't released until Oct. 15.

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  1. Thank you, John Smith, for pointing out a needed correction. The article has been revised.

  2. The "National institute for Justice" is an agency for the Dept of Justice. That is not the law firm you are talking about in this article. The "institute for justice" is a public interest law firm. http://ij.org/ thanks for interesting article however

  3. I would like to try to find a lawyer as soon possible I've had my money stolen off of my bank card driver pressed charges and I try to get the information they need it and a Social Security board is just give me a hold up a run around for no reason and now it think it might be too late cuz its been over a year I believe and I can't get the right information they need because they keep giving me the runaroundwhat should I do about that

  4. It is wonderful that Indiana DOC is making some truly admirable and positive changes. People with serious mental illness, intellectual disability or developmental disability will benefit from these changes. It will be much better if people can get some help and resources that promote their health and growth than if they suffer alone. If people experience positive growth or healing of their health issues, they may be less likely to do the things that caused them to come to prison in the first place. This will be of benefit for everyone. I am also so happy that Indiana DOC added correctional personnel and mental health staffing. These are tough issues to work with. There should be adequate staffing in prisons so correctional officers and other staff are able to do the kind of work they really want to do-helping people grow and change-rather than just trying to manage chaos. Correctional officers and other staff deserve this. It would be great to see increased mental health services and services for people with intellectual or developmental disabilities in the community so that fewer people will have to receive help and support in prisons. Community services would like be less expensive, inherently less demeaning and just a whole lot better for everyone.

  5. Can I get this form on line,if not where can I obtain one. I am eligible.

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