MATTHEW J. WALLACE, et al., Plaintiffs
TWIN PINES CONSTRUCTION, INC., et al., Defendants
MICHAEL VAILLANCOURT ESQ AINSWORTH THELIN & RAFTICE
ORDER ON PLAINTIFFS' MOTION FOR PARTIAL SUMMARY
JUDGMENT AND STATE FARM AUTOMOBILE INSURANCE COMPANY'S
MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT
Mills, Superior Court Justice.
the court are (1) defendant State Farm Mutual Automobile
Insurance Company's motion for summary judgment and (2)
plaintiffs Matthew Wallace and Freja Folce's motion for
partial summary judgment. For the following reasons,
defendant State Farm's motion is granted and
plaintiffs' motion is denied.
parties have stipulated to the following facts for purposes
of summary judgment. On September 29, 2011, plaintiff Wallace
was operating a vehicle on Route 26 in Woodstock, Maine.
(Stipulated S.M.F. ¶ 1.) Plaintiff Folce and her minor
daughter, Zoe Folce, were passengers. (Id.)
Defendant Corey Hill was operating a vehicle in the opposite
direction on Route 26 when he lost control of the vehicle,
crossed the centerline of the road, and collided with the
vehicle operated by plaintiff Wallace. (Id. ¶
2.) The collision was caused by the negligence of defendant
Hill. (Id. ¶ 3.)
vehicle operated by defendant Hill was owned by his employer,
defendant Twin Pines Construction, Inc. (Id.
¶¶ 4-5.) Defendant Hill was operating the vehicle
in the scope of his employment. (Id. ¶ 4.) The
vehicle was insured under a policy issued by Safety Insurance
Company, which provided liability coverage in the amount of
$50, 000.00 per person and $100, 000.00 per accident by
operation of Maine's financial responsibility law.
(Id. ¶ 5); see 29-A M.R.S. § 1605(1)(C)
Twin Pines was also insured under an excess policy issued by
Alterra Insurance, which provided excess liability coverage
in the amount of $2, 000, 000.00. (Id. ¶ 6.)
The Alterra policy required defendant Twin Pines to maintain
underlying liability coverage in the amount of $1, 000,
000.00, and further provided:
Failure of the insured to comply with the foregoing
[underlying insurance requirement] shall not invalidate this
Policy, but in the event of such failure, the Company shall
be liable only to the extent that it would have been held
liable had the insured complied therewith.
(Id. ¶ 7.) The Safety policy and the Alterra
policy were the only policies that provided auto liability
insurance to defendant Twin Pines at the time of the
accident. (Id. ¶ 9.)
vehicle operated by plaintiff Wallace was insured under a
policy issued by defendant State Farm, which provided
uninsured motorist/underinsured (UM) coverage in the amount
of $100, 000.00 per person and $300, 000.00 per accident.
(Id ¶ 10.) In addition, plaintiff Wallace was
insured under a separate policy issued by defendant State
Farm on another vehicle, which also provided UM coverage in
the amount of $100, 000.00 per person and $300, 000.00 per
accident. (Id. ¶ 11.) Plaintiffs' aggregate
damages as a result of the accident exceed $100, 000.00.
(Id. ¶ 14.)
August 22, 2013, plaintiff Wallace filed a complaint against
defendants Hill, Twin Pines, Juliano Fernandes (owner of
defendant Twin Pines), Teles Construction, Inc. (a separate
company owned by defendant Fernandes), and State Farm. In the
complaint, plaintiff Wallace alleged five causes of action:
count I, negligence against defendant Hill; count II,
vicarious liability against defendants Twin Pines, Fernandes,
and Teles Construction; count III, negligence against
defendants Twin Pines, Fernandes, and Teles Construction;
count IV, abuse of the corporate form against defendants Twin
Pines, Fernandes, and Teles Construction; and count V, UM
claims against defendant State Farm. On December 13, 2013,
plaintiff Folce filed a separate complaint, individually and
on behalf of her minor daughter and alleged the same causes
of action. (CV-13-532). The court consolidated the two cases
on February 28, 2014.
have since entered into a settlement with defendant Twin
Pines under which Alterra paid $1, 000, 000.00 to plaintiff
Wallace and $1, 000, 000.00 to plaintiff Folce. (Stipulated
S.M.F. ¶ 12.) In addition, Safety paid $50, 000.00 to
plaintiff Folce and $50, 000.00 for the benefit of Zoe Folce.
March 3, 2016, plaintiff Wallace moved to dismiss all
defendants other than defendant State Farm. On March 4, 2016,
plaintiff Folce filed a motion to approve the settlement,
which the court granted on March 10, 2016. M.R. Civ. P.
17A(a). On March 14, 2016, the court dismissed all defendants
other than defendant State Farm.
State Farm filed a motion for summary judgment on May 16,
2016. Plaintiffs filed a motion for partial summary judgment
on May 16, 2016 and opposed defendant State Farm's motion
on June 3, 2016. Defendant State Farm opposed plaintiffs'