Jan 20, 2023

Deutsch Kerrigan attorney obtains per curiam (7-0) decision from the Louisiana Supreme Court

Casey Wendling 
Denia AiyegbusiJerry GlasRay Lewis 

The insurance dispute at issue was part of a consolidated case arising from an automobile accident on March 2, 2019. Plaintiff Penelope Catzen named her father’s insurer, State Auto Property and Casualty Insurance Company, as a Defendant to her lawsuit alleging State Auto provided uninsured/underinsured motor vehicle coverage. State Auto filed a Motion for Summary Judgment seeking a ruling that no coverage existed for Catzen because (1) the language of the State Auto Policy is clear and unambiguous in its requirement that a claimant must be a resident of the named insured of the policy holder’s household to receive UM motorist coverage and (2) it was undisputed that Catzen was not a resident of her father’s household in Maryland at the time of the accident. The trial court denied State Auto’s Motion for Summary Judgment finding only that the determination of residence is “too subjective” to be decided on summary judgment. After granting State Auto’s Writ Application, the Justices of the Louisiana Supreme Court unanimously found the State Auto’s policy did not provide coverage to Catzen for this accident and therefore, State Auto was entitled to summary judgment, reversing the trial court’s ruling.