Court of Appeals Published Tort and Insurance Decisions

March 6, 2007

The Courts of Appeal were quite busy this week issuing 11 published decisions. As usual these published decisions frequently dealt with tort and insurance issues. I have listed some of those worth mentioning with a short digest and link to the opinion.

Stephenson v. American Family Mut. Ins. Co., (Promissory Estoppel). As a general rule, out-of-state insurance companies are not required to comply with Kentucky no-fault requirements for their insureds who are not Kentucky residents even when involved in motor vehicle accidents in Kentucky. However, when the insurer states that it will provide those benefits, which are relied upon to the insured’s detriment, the insurer will be estopped from later denying benefits.

Batts v. Illinois Central Railroad Co., (Statute of Limitations, Revival). Appointment of executor of estate takes place for purposes of revival at the time the order is signed by the judge and not when it is entered. Standing to file motion for revival exists at that point. As long as that motion is filed within one year, the action is revived even if the order is not entered until later.

Estate of Turner v. Globe Indemnity Co., (UIM, Covered Auto). For UIM to be implicated party must be operating a covered vehicle or a temporary substitute for covered vehicle. The substitute must be out of service because of its breakdown, repair, servicing, loss or destruction. Evidence showed that there were serviceable fleet vehicles available to Turner, but that he chose to drive his own vehicle for his own convenience.

Rippetoe v. Feese, (Zero Damages, Experts). Rear end accident case where jury awarded zero damages upon stipulation of liability. No error to award zero damages when evidence exists that injuries result from cause other than motor vehicle accident. Also, no error in allowing expert testimony when expert was listed by Plaintiff as possible expert, Plaintiff never objected to deposition notice, and deadlines were moved due to continuances.

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