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Allocca v. York Insurance Company of Maine

Supreme Court of Maine

August 29, 2017

THERESA L. ALLOCCA et al.
v.
YORK INSURANCE COMPANY OF MAINE et al.

          Argued: May 9, 2017

          Jeffrey T. Edwards, Esq. (orally), and Timothy D. Connolly, Esq., Preti Flaherty Beliveau & Pachios, LLP, Portland, for appellants Theresa L. Allocca and Timothy Allen Davison

          John S. Whitman, Esq. (orally), Richardson, Whitman, Large & Badger, Portland, for appellee York Insurance Company of Maine

          Martica S. Douglas, Esq. (orally), Douglas, Denham, Buccina & Ernst, Portland, for appellee Allstate Insurance Company

          James D. Poliquin, Esq. (orally), and Jonathan W. Brogan, Esq., Norman, Hanson & DeTroy, LLC, Portland, for appellee Horace Mann Teachers Insurance Company

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

          HJELM, J.

         [¶1] In January 2014, Timothy Austin Davison, who was known as Asti, was fatally shot while operating a vehicle that an assailant, operating another vehicle, had forced onto a median on an interstate highway. Astis parents, Theresa L. Allocca and Timothy Allen Davison, filed this action in their individual capacities, and Davison also filed as personal representative of the Estate of Timothy Austin Davison, [1] seeking to recover uninsured motorist (UM) benefits based on several automobile insurance policies issued by defendants York Insurance Company of Maine, Allstate Insurance Company, and Horace Mann Teachers Insurance Company. The Superior Court (Cumberland County, Warren, J.) granted a summary judgment in favor of the insurers, concluding that neither any of the policies nor Maines UM statute, 24-A M.R.S. § 2902 (2016), provides UM coverage for the loss associated with Astis death. On this appeal by Davison, we affirm.

         I. BACKGROUND

          [¶2] The following facts are undisputed. See Cote Corp. v. Kelley Earthworks, Inc., 2014 ME 93, ¶ 8, 97 A.3d 127. On January 4, 2014, Asti was driving to Maine in his fathers sport utility vehicle. While on Interstate 81 in Maryland, an assailant[2] driving a pick-up truck began pursuing Asti and fired shots at Astis vehicle. The two vehicles crossed the state line into Pennsylvania, and the assailant rammed his truck into the SUV, pushing the SUV off the road onto the median. The assailant then reversed direction and approached Asti from the southbound side of the highway. The assailant pulled up next to Astis SUV in the median, and, from his truck, fired multiple shots at Asti and drove away. Asti died of the gunshot wounds.

          [¶3] Four insurance policies issued by the defendants are relevant to this case.

         [¶4] First, Asti was the named insured on an automobile policy and a motorcycle policy issued by Allstate. Each policy insured a vehicle that had been owned by Asti and provided the following UM coverage:

We will pay damages for bodily injury which an insured person is legally entitled to recover from the owner or operator of an uninsured motor vehicle. Injury must be caused by accident and arise out of the ownership, maintenance or use of an uninsured motor vehicle.

(Emphasis added.)

         [¶5] Next, Astis father was the named insured on a York Insurance automobile policy covering the SUV that Asti was driving at the time he was killed. The definition of an "insured" in the York policy includes any "family member" and "[a]ny other person occupying your covered auto, " thereby rendering both Asti and his father insureds within the meaning of the policy. The York policy included the following statement of UM coverage:

We will pay compensatory damages which an "insured" is legally entitled to recover from the owner or operator of an "uninsured motor vehicle" because of ...

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