JOHN B. KNOWLTON Plaintiff
CYNTIIIA MCLELLAN Defendant.
ORDER ON DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY
WALKER JUSTICE, SUPERIOR COURT
the Superior Court is Defendant's motion for summary
Knowlton and Defendant McLcllan were in a car accident on
March 13, 2015. (Supp.'g S.M.F. ¶ 1.) Defendant
hired an attorney to make a claim against Plaintiff.
(Id. ¶ 3.) Plaintiff informed his insurance
company. Travelers, of this claim. (Opp. Add'l S.M.F.
¶ 1.) Travelers and Defendant negotiated a Release and
Settlement Agreement (RSA) whereby Defendant received $130,
000, and Defendant expressly released Plaintiff and Travelers
from future claims arising from the accident. (Supp.'g
S.M.F. ¶ 4.) On December 8, 2016, Plaintiff filed a
negligence complaint against Defendant for his injuries.
Defendant answered on December 23, 2016. On January 19, 2017,
Defendant filed a motion for summary judgment on the grounds
that Plaintiff's lawsuit is barred by the July 14, 2015
RSA. (Def.'s Mot. Summ. J. 1.)
Standard of review
judgment is appropriate, if based on the parties'
statement of material facts and the cited record, no genuine
issue of material fact exists and the moving party is
entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Beal v. Allstate
Ins. Co., 2010 ME 20, ¶ 11, 989 A.2d 733; Dyer
v, Dep't of Transport, 2008 ME 106, ¶ 14, 951
A.2d 821. "[A] fact is material if it could potentially
affect the outcome of the case." Reliance Nat'l
Indem. v. Knowles Indus. Servs., 2005 ME 29, ¶ 7,
868 A.2d 220. A genuine issue of material fact exists where
the fact finder must choose between competing versions of the
truth. Id. (citing Univ. of Me. Found, v. Fleet
Bank of Me., 2003 ME 20, ¶ 20, 817 A.2d 871). When
deciding a motion for summary judgment, the court reviews the
materials in the light most favorable to the non-moving
party. Dyer, 2008 ME 106, ¶ 14, 951 A.2d 821.
The party opposing a summary judgment must point to specific
facts showing that a factual dispute does exist in order to
avoid a summary judgment. Watt v. Unifirst Corp.,
2009 ME 47, ¶ 21, 969 A.2d 897; Reliance Nat'l
Indem., 2005 ME 29, ¶ 9, 868 A.2d 220.
believed, because Plaintiff was expressly named in the RSA,
and because the RSA did not expressly reserve Plaintiffs
personal claims against Defendant, that the RSA resolved all
claims related to the accident. (Supp.'g S.M.F. ¶
5.) Plaintiff argues that his claims against Defendant are
not barred by the RSA where he did not have knowledge of or
consent to the RSA, nor did he assent to Travelers resolving
his own personal claims against Defendant. (PL's
Opp'n to Def.'s Mot. Summ. J. 2, 8.)
Butters, the Law Court held that the making of a
settlement without any express reservation of rights
constitutes complete accord and satisfaction of all claims of
immediate parties to the settlement arising out of the same
accident. Butters v. Kane, 347 A.2d 602, 604 (Me.
1975.) However, even if a settlement agreement between a
third party and an insurer does not expressly reserve the
insured's personal claims, the insured is not an
"immediate party" who is barred, within the
Butters rule, from maintaining suit against that
third party based on his own cause of action arising out of
the same accident unless the insurer was authorized to settle
the insured's own claims, or the insured otherwise had
knowledge of or consented to the insurer's settlement of
his claim. Brown v, Manchester, 384 A.2d 449, 453
although Plaintiff admits to having notified Travelers of
Defendanf s claim against him, he states (and Defendant does
not dispute) that he was not involved in the negotiation or
execution of the RSA, and was not made aware of the RSA until
nearly a month after it was finalized. (Opp. Add'l S.M.F.
¶¶ 1, 8, 14.) Furthermore, Plaintiff states that
Travelers never intended to represent Plaintiff's
interests in connection with his own personal injury claims
against Defendant, that his personal injuries were never
discussed during the negotiation of the RSA, that Travelers
never indicated to Defendant it was representing
Plaintiff's personal injury claims, and that there was no
intent to release Plaintiffs personal injury claims against
Defendant. (Opp. Add'l S.M.F. ¶¶ 5, 6,
10, 11.), , 
on the foregoing, Defendant's motion is DENIED.
Clerk is directed to enter this Order on the civil docket by
reference pursuant to ...