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Hanbury v. American Family Mut. Ins. Co.

Court of Appeals of Minnesota

June 15, 2015

Jon P. Hanbury, individually and as father and natural guardian of Andrew and Nick Hanbury, Appellant,
v.
American Family Mutual Insurance Company, Respondent

Page 84

Hennepin County District Court File No. 27-CV-14-1837.

Affirmed.

SYLLABUS

An insurance policy that provides underinsured motorist coverage only to insured persons who sustain bodily injury in a motor-vehicle accident complies with the Minnesota No-Fault Automobile Insurance Act.

For Appellant: Timothy P. McCarthy, Gary K. Luloff, Chestnut Cambronne PA, Minneapolis, Minnesota.

For Respondent: Louise A. Behrendt, Stich, Angell, Kreidler, Dodge & Unke, P.A., Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Reyes, Presiding Judge; Hudson, Judge; and Bjorkman, Judge.

OPINION

Page 85

HUDSON, Judge

In this appeal taken from the district court's entry of judgment in favor of respondent American Family Mutual Insurance Company (American Family), we consider whether an insurance policy that limits underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage to bodily injury sustained by an insured person complies with the Minnesota No-Fault Automobile Insurance Act (no-fault act). Because we conclude that the no-fault act requires UIM coverage be provided only for bodily injury sustained by an insured person, we affirm.

FACTS

On August 30, 2010, Mary Ellen Hanbury was killed in an automobile accident caused by her husband's negligence. Mary Ellen's son, appellant Jon P. Hanbury, was not in the car when the accident occurred. Following Mary Ellen's death, appellant was appointed trustee for her next of kin. He filed a wrongful-death action against Mary Ellen's husband and settled that claim for $100,000, the maximum liability limit of her husband's insurance policy.

At the time of Mary Ellen's death, appellant and his children were insured under an automobile policy issued by American Family. The policy included UIM coverage in the amount of $100,000 for " bodily injury to an insured person who is legally entitled to recover from the owner or operator of an underinsured motor vehicle." It is not disputed that, if Mary Ellen had survived, she would have been ineligible to recover UIM benefits from appellant's insurance policy because she is not an insured under the terms of the policy.

After appellant settled the wrongful-death action for the limits of Mary Ellen's husband's policy, he submitted a claim to American Family, his own insurer, for payment of UIM benefits, contending that his recovery from the wrongful-death settlement did not adequately compensate him for the losses that he sustained from Mary Ellen's death. American Family informed appellant that he was not eligible for UIM benefits because he had not suffered bodily injury in the automobile accident. Appellant subsequently filed suit against American Family, seeking a declaration that his UIM claim is covered ...


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