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Estate of Galipeau v. State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co.

Supreme Judicial Court of Maine

February 11, 2016

ESTATE OF PAUL R. GALIPEAU
v.
STATE FARM MUTUAL AUTOMOBILE INSURANCE COMPANY

         Argued December 10, 2015.

          On the briefs: Steven D. Silin, Esq., and Robert H. Furbish, Esq., Berman & Simmons, P.A., Lewiston, for appellant Estate of Paul R. Galipeau.

         J. William Druary, Jr., Esq., and Gregory M. Patient, Esq., Marden Dubord, Bernier & Stevens, PA LLC, Waterville, for appellee State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company.

         At oral argument: Robert H. Furbish, Esq., for appellant Estate of Paul R. Galipeau.

         Gregory M. Patient, Esq., for appellee State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company.

         Panel: SAUFLEY, C.J., and ALEXANDER, MEAD, GORMAN, JABAR, and HJELM, JJ.

          OPINION

Page 1191

          MEAD, J.

          [¶1] The Estate of Paul R. Galipeau (Estate) appeals from a summary judgment entered by the Superior Court (Kennebec County, Murphy, J. ) in favor of State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company (State Farm) on the Estate's complaint for wrongful denial of coverage concerning three of four vehicle insurance policies owned by Paul Galipeau at the time of his death. The Estate contends that State Farm was obligated to pay the uninsured motorist (UM) coverage limit of each of the four policies, not just the UM coverage limit of the policy naming the motorcycle Galipeau was riding when he was involved in a fatal accident. State Farm contends that the court correctly ruled that coverage under the three non-motorcycle policies was precluded by an " other-owned-vehicle" exclusion that each policy contained. It further asserts that coverage was precluded by an " anti-stacking" provision in the policies, the applicability of which the Estate disputes. We affirm the judgment.

         I. BACKGROUND

          [¶2] The summary judgment record contains the following evidence, viewed in the light most favorable to the Estate as the non-moving party. See Brady v. Cumberland Cty., 2015 ME 143, ¶ 2, 126 A.3d 1145. On August 15, 2012, Paul Galipeau was killed in a motor vehicle accident while riding his motorcycle. With State Farm's consent, the Estate settled a claim against the tortfeasor for $50,000, the limit of the tortfeasor's liability insurance policy.

          [¶3] Galipeau and his wife Judith, the personal representative of his estate, were insured under four vehicle policies issued by State Farm: one on the motorcycle that Paul was riding when the accident occurred, and the others covering three different vehicles. Each of the policies provided UM coverage with a per-person limit of $100,000. The Estate demanded $350,000 from State Farm, representing the aggregate of each policy's UM coverage limit, less the $50,000 recovered from the tortfeasor. State Farm paid the $50,000 differential between the motorcycle

Page 1192

policy UM limit and the $50,000 already recovered by the Estate, and otherwise refused the demand.

          [¶4] The parties dispute whether State Farm Policy Form 9819B or the earlier Policy Form 9819A was in effect at the time of the accident. Each contains an " ...


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