ILNews

Judges differ on insurance coverage

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

A panel of Indiana Court of Appeals judges disagreed about whether a school bus driver who also worked as an independent farmer over the summer should be covered by the school corporation's insurance following a car accident while hauling grain. Judge Melissa May, dissenting from the majority's affirmation of the denial of coverage for the bus driver's accident, worried the majority's interpretation of Exclusion 33 in his insurance policy would require any school employee who may be eligible for workers' compensation coverage to buy it or risk losing insurance benefits provided by the school corporation's health plan.

In Mikel A. Schilling v. Huntington County Community School Corp., et al., No. 35A02-0803-CV-191, Huntington County Community School Corp., Huntington County Community School Corporation Employee Benefit Trust, and American Health Care Partnership Inc., were awarded summary judgment on Mikel Schilling's claims that his health plan pay for his injuries from the accident. Judges Edward Najam and Margret Robb interpreted Exclusion 33 of Schilling's plan through the school corporation to exclude coverage of injuries that would be covered by Indiana's Workers' Compensation Act, regardless of whether workers' compensation was actually obtained by the insured.

Schilling, as an independent farmer, didn't purchase workers' compensation and argued the exclusion needed to state affirmative steps he had to take to purchase the coverage. The majority disagreed, finding the exclusion plainly informed Schilling the plan wouldn't cover injuries coverable by workers' compensation, regardless of whether it had been purchased, wrote Judge Najam.

In Judge May's dissent, she wrote the exclusion implies the purchaser of the workers' compensation would be a school employee, but most aren't self-employed in addition to their school employment. Surely a policy meant to cover a typical school system employee wouldn't exclude coverage just because that typical employee hadn't bought workers' compensation coverage, Judge May wrote. As such, she declined to interpret the exclusion to presume an employee would lose health coverage for any injury covered by workers' compensation that the employee might have been able to buy. Judge May would reverse summary judgment in favor of the school corporation and remand.

ADVERTISEMENT

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in Indiana Lawyer editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Indiana State Bar Association

Indianapolis Bar Association

Evansville Bar Association

Allen County Bar Association

Indiana Lawyer on Facebook

facebook
ADVERTISEMENT
Subscribe to Indiana Lawyer
  1. The child support award is many times what the custodial parent earns, and exceeds the actual costs of providing for the children's needs. My fiance and I have agreed that if we divorce, that the children will be provided for using a shared checking account like this one(http://www.mediate.com/articles/if_they_can_do_parenting_plans.cfm) to avoid the hidden alimony in Indiana's child support guidelines.

  2. Fiat justitia ruat caelum is a Latin legal phrase, meaning "Let justice be done though the heavens fall." The maxim signifies the belief that justice must be realized regardless of consequences.

  3. Indiana up holds this behavior. the state police know they got it made.

  4. Additional Points: -Civility in the profession: Treating others with respect will not only move others to respect you, it will show a shared respect for the legal system we are all sworn to protect. When attorneys engage in unnecessary personal attacks, they lose the respect and favor of judges, jurors, the person being attacked, and others witnessing or reading the communication. It's not always easy to put anger aside, but if you don't, you will lose respect, credibility, cases, clients & jobs or job opportunities. -Read Rule 22 of the Admission & Discipline Rules. Capture that spirit and apply those principles in your daily work. -Strive to represent clients in a manner that communicates the importance you place on the legal matter you're privileged to handle for them. -There are good lawyers of all ages, but no one is perfect. Older lawyers can learn valuable skills from younger lawyers who tend to be more adept with new technologies that can improve work quality and speed. Older lawyers have already tackled more legal issues and worked through more of the problems encountered when representing clients on various types of legal matters. If there's mutual respect and a willingness to learn from each other, it will help make both attorneys better lawyers. -Erosion of the public trust in lawyers wears down public confidence in the rule of law. Always keep your duty to the profession in mind. -You can learn so much by asking questions & actively listening to instructions and advice from more experienced attorneys, regardless of how many years or decades you've each practiced law. Don't miss out on that chance.

  5. Agreed on 4th Amendment call - that was just bad policing that resulted in dismissal for repeat offender. What kind of parent names their boy "Kriston"?

ADVERTISEMENT