ESTATE OF REBECCA L. MASON et al.
AMICA MUTUAL INSURANCE COMPANY
Argued: November 8, 2016
D. Silin, Esq., and Robert H. Furbish, Esq. (orally), Berman
& Simmons, P.A., Lewiston, for appellant Estate of
Rebecca L. Mason.
Sheldon J. Tepler, Esq., Hardy Wolf & Downing, Lewiston,
for appellant Estate of Logan Dam.
Martica S. Douglas, Esq. (orally), Douglas, Denham, Buccina
& Ernst, Portland, for appellee Amica Mutual Insurance
SAUFLEY, C.J., and ALEXANDER, MEAD, GORMAN, JABAR, HJELM, and
The Estates of Rebecca L. Mason and Logan Dam (the Estates)
appeal from summary judgments entered by the Superior Court
(Oxford County, Clifford, J.) in favor of Amica
Mutual Insurance Company (Amica) on the Estates consolidated
actions to reach and apply insurance money toward the
satisfaction of judgments they obtained against Amicas
insured. See 24-A M.R.S. § 2904 (2016). The
trial court concluded that Amica is entitled to judgments as
a matter of law on the Estates complaints because a
"regular use" exclusion in the insureds automobile
insurance policy prohibits the Estates from reaching the
insurance money. We affirm the judgments.
Viewing the evidence in the light most favorable to the
nonprevailing parties, the Estates, the summary judgment
record reveals the following undisputed facts. See, e.g.,
Estate of Frost, 2016 ME 132, ¶ 15, 146 A.3d 118.
On January 7, 2012, in West Paris, Rebecca L. Mason and Logan
Dam were passengers in a vehicle driven by Kristina I. Lowe.
Lowe negligently caused the vehicle to crash in a
single-vehicle accident, and Mason and Dam died from injuries
The vehicle was owned by Lowes friend, Dakota Larson. Larsons
drivers license had been suspended in November 2011, and Lowe
had agreed to drive Larson to work, to school, and to visit
friends. When Lowes own car broke down on December 23, 2011,
Larson authorized her to use his car as if it was her own, as
long as she continued to give him rides, until her car was
fixed. Around the same time that Lowes car broke
down, Larson left town for several days. He gave Lowe the
only set of keys to his car, and Lowe used his car for her
own purposes while he was gone. When he returned, and until
the accident on January 7, 2012, Lowe continued to use
Larsons car to give him rides and for her own purposes.
Lowe required transportation for her full-time job and, while
her car was unavailable, she did not have access to any
vehicle other than Larsons. She used Larsons car to drive to
and from work, to visit relatives, to pick up friends, to go
tanning, and to go to the gym. She kept Larsons car at her
familys home, and she paid for gas most of the time.
When the accident occurred, Lowe was a resident at the home
of her mother, Melissa J. Stanley. Stanley had a personal
auto insurance policy issued by Amica that provided for $300,
000 in liability coverage. The policy excluded from coverage
liability arising out of the use of a vehicle "furnished
for the regular use of any family member." The policy
defined "family member" as "a person related
to you by blood, marriage, or adoption, who is a resident of
After the accident, the Estates brought wrongful death
actions against Lowe, and the parties stipulated to the entry
of judgments against Lowe in favor of each of the Estates in
the amount of one million dollars.
The action at issue in this appeal began when, in July 2014,
the Estates filed separate reach-and-apply actions against
Amica in the Superior Court (Oxford County) seeking to apply
insurance money from Stanleys policy to the judgments against
Lowe. See 24-A M.R.S. § 2904. On Amicas
unopposed motion, the court (Clifford, J.)
consolidated the cases. The Estates jointly moved for summary
judgment and Amica filed a cross-motion for summary judgment.
In a written order dated January 18, 2016, the court
concluded as matter of law that the "regular use"
exclusion in Stanleys policy applied to preclude coverage for
Lowes negligent use of Larsons car and that, therefore, the
Estates could not reach and apply insurance money from
Stanleys policy toward satisfaction of the judgments against
Lowe. The court therefore determined that Amica was ...