Monday, October 24, 2011

Court reviews a claim against an uninsured motorist carrier.

ALAN HOWARD PETERS ET AL. v. CASEY BURGESS ET AL. (Tenn. Ct. App. October 24, 2011)

Alan Howard Peters was seriously injured when his vehicle collided with logs that had rolled off a truck. He and his wife filed this personal injury action and thereafter settled their claims against the defendant tortfeasors for policy limits of $1 million. In doing so, they reserved their claim against the uninsured motorist ("UM") carrier, Cincinnati Insurance Company ("CIC").

The UM provisions in effect with CIC were set forth in an endorsement to a 2005 renewal of an umbrella policy. The UM endorsement to the original policy issued in 1999 and to the first renewal issued in 2002 expressly limited UM coverage to $1 million. A space in the 2005 renewal endorsement form that was intended for insertion of the UM policy limits was left blank, which, by default, rendered the limits of the UM endorsement equal to the $2 million liability limits of the umbrella policy. After the dismissal of the claims against the tortfeasors, CIC amended its answer to include a counterclaim asking the court to reform the policy to make the UM limits equal to the $1 million limits of the previous policies. The trial court entered an order reforming the policy. Subsequently the court entered an order dismissing the remaining claim against CIC. Mr. and Mrs. Peters appeal. We affirm.

Opinion available at:

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