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Affirmance of Summary Judgment for Defendant in UM Coverage Case in Federal Court - Angela Flowers

Angela C. Flowers | February 24, 2014

Angela C. Flowers, of the Ocala office, obtained an affirmance of a final summary judgment in favor of the Defendant insurer in an uninsured motorist (UM) coverage case in Manfredi v. State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co., 12-16499, 2013 WL 6596817 (11th Cir. 2013). The case arose from an accident in which Plaintiff, Mr. Manfredi, was injured while driving his Ford F-150 pickup truck. State Farm paid the Manfredis the $100,000 in UM benefits available under the stacking policy applicable to the F-150, but the Manfredis nevertheless filed suit after State Farm denied they were entitled to the additional $100,000 in UM benefits they sought under a different, nonstacking policy that was issued to cover their Ford Expedition SUV. The policy applicable to the F-150 involved in the accident provided stacking UM benefits, but the Manfredis had rejected stacking coverage for the policy applicable to the SUV that was not involved in the accident.

In successfully defending the summary judgment in favor of State Farm on appeal, Angela argued, and the U.S. Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals held, that, under Florida law, the Plaintiffs were not entitled to "stack" nonstacking UM coverage from other policies for which stacking was rejected with the stacking policy that provided coverage for the subject accident. The Court explained: "Here, the Manfredis purchased only one insurance policy that applies. The F-150 policy applied because ‘stacked’ UM coverage applies ‘whenever or wherever’ the insured is injured by an uninsured motorist. The Expedition policy, however, does not apply because ‘nonstacked’ UM coverage only applies when the insured is injured while driving the covered vehicle, and Mr. Manfredi was not injured while driving his Ford Expedition." Id. (citation omitted). Accordingly, the Court affirmed summary judgment in favor of State Farm.

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