Argued: April 12, 2017
County Superior Court docket number CV-2013-534
P. Mancini, Esq., Michael T. Devine, Esq., Danelle R. Milone,
Esq., Andrew W. Sparks, Esq., and David J. Marchese, Esq.
(orally), Drummond & Drummond, LLP, Portland, for Arthur
Elizabeth A. Germani, Esq. (orally), Germani Martemucci &
Hill, Portland, for appellee Martin Thorne
T. Mills, Attorney General, and Thomas A. Knowlton, Asst.
Atty. Gen. (orally), Office of the Attorney General, Augusta,
for appellee Department of Public Safety
SAUFLEY, C.J., and ALEXANDER, MEAD, GORMAN, JABAR, HJELM, and
Arthur Murdock appeals from a summary judgment entered by the
trial court (Cumberland County, Warren, J.) in favor
of Martin Thorne and the Maine Department of Public Safety
(DPS) on Murdock's negligence claim against Thorne and
his underinsured motorist claim against DPS. We affirm the
The following facts are derived from the parties'
statements of material fact and are undisputed unless
otherwise noted. See Estate of Kay v. Estate of
Wiggins, 2016 ME 108, ¶ 2, 143 A.3d 1290.
As of January 26, 2010, the date of the automobile accident
in question, Arthur Murdock was serving as a lieutenant with
the Maine State Police. That afternoon, Murdock traveled in a
police cruiser toward his assigned State Police barracks that
were located near Skyway Drive in Portland. Traveling
westbound on Skyway Drive, Murdock slowed as he neared the
barracks' parking lot entrance and prepared to make a
left turn into the compound across two lanes of eastbound
traffic. The defendant Thorne was traveling on Skyway Drive
in the opposite direction.
When Murdock's vehicle approached Thome's,
Thome's car was one of many stopped at a red light
located a short distance ahead of the barracks' parking
lot. Murdock made eye contact with Thorne and began to angle
his cruiser in front of Thome's vehicle, which was
positioned in the inside lane of eastbound Skyway Drive
traffic. Thorne understood that Murdock wanted to cut across
the two eastbound lanes of traffic and into the parking lot.
Thorne then held up his index finger towards Murdock and
proceeded to check his side view mirrors. After checking the
mirrors, Thorne "waved" Murdock across his lane of
traffic. Murdock proceeded to cross in front of Thome's
vehicle and then "inched forward" past Thome's
car to look for oncoming traffic in the outside eastbound
lane. Seeing none, Murdock attempted to cross the outside
eastbound lane and enter the parking lot. Shortly after
crossing into the outside eastbound lane, Murdock's
cruiser was struck by another vehicle traveling in the
outside eastbound lane from behind where Thome's car was
stopped in traffic.
Murdock suffered various injuries as a result of the
accident. At the time of the collision, as a DPS employee,
Murdock was covered under a self-insurance fund administered
by the director of the Risk Management Division, which is
part of the Department of Administrative and Financial
Services. The Risk Management Division issues statements of
self-insurance that establish the limits and scope of
liability assumed by the State and its agencies. No statement
of self-insurance issued at the time of the collision
provided underinsured motorist coverage to DPS employees.
Murdock retired from the Maine State Police in June 2010. As
of September 1, 2014, Murdock had received and was continuing