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IDS Property Casualty Insurance Co. v. Mullins

United States District Court, District of Oregon

May 12, 2015

IDS PROPERTY CASUALTY INSURANCE COMPANY, a foreign insurance company Plaintiff,
v.
MICHELLE MULLINS and RYAN MULLINS, Defendants,

OPINION AND ORDER

Michael J. McShane United States District Judge

On January 31, 2014, defendant Ryan Mullins (Mr. Mullins) was involved in a serious car accident as a passenger. Mr. Mullins exhausted the driver's policy limits and subsequently sought Underinsured Motorist (UIM) benefits as a "resident relative"[1] under a policy issued to his mother, defendant Michelle Mullins (Ms. Mullins). The insurance provider, plaintiff IDS Property Casualty Insurance Company (IDS), filed this action for declaratory relief seeking a rescission and no coverage.

This Court is asked to consider whether alleged misrepresentations made by Ms. Mullins may preclude coverage as to Mr. Mullins under the fraud provision of the insurance policy. Because the fraud provision is limited to the insured party who commits the fraudulent act, alleged misrepresentations made by Ms. Mullins do not preclude coverage as to Mr. Mullins under that provision. Thus, defendant's motion for partial summary judgment, ECF No. 29, is GRANTED IN PART and DENIED IN PART, and defendant's motion in limine to exclude evidence, ECF No. 35, is GRANTED IN PART and DENIED IN PART.

PROCEDURAL AND FACTUAL BACKGROUND

This action arises out of an insurance claim under a motor vehicle policy, which was effective from October 6, 2013 to April 6, 2014. See Compl. 1, ECF No. 1-2.

On October 5, 2013, Ms. Mullins contacted IDS to contract a motor vehicle policy. See Id. at 2, ECF No. 1. During that telephone conversation, Ms. Mullins informed IDS that her son, Mr. Mullins, did not live at her residence. Id. at 3; Notice of Conventional Filing Ex. B, ECF No. 36 (compact disk filed conventionally).

On January 24, 2014, Ms. Mullins contacted IDS to add an additional vehicle and update her address. Compl. 3, ECF No. 1. Ms. Mullins again informed IDS that Mr. Mullins did not live at her residence. Id. at 3; Notice of Conventional Filing Ex. D, ECF No. 37 (compact disk filed conventionally).

On January 31, 2014, Mr. Mullins was involved in a motor vehicle[2] collision as a passenger and sustained severe injuries. See Ryan Mullins's Answer 4, ECF No. 7. Mr. Mullins exhausted the driver's policy limits and subsequently sought UIM as a "resident relative" under Ms. Mullins's policy. See id.

On May 20, 2014, IDS examined Ms. Mullins and Mr. Mullins under oath. Ms. Mullins testified that Mr. Mullins moved in with her in December 2013. See Decl. of Daniel E. Thenell 4-6, 10, ECF No. 33-1. Mr. Mullins also testified that he moved in with Ms. Mullins in December 2013. See Decl. of Daniel E. Thenell 4-5, ECF No. 33-2.

On August 20, 2014, IDS filed this action seeking two counts of declaratory relief: rescission and no coverage. See Compl. 6-8, ECF No. 1.

STANDARD OF REVIEW

This Court must grant summary judgment if there is no genuine issue of material fact and the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). An issue is "genuine" if a reasonable jury could return a verdict in favor of the non-moving party. Rivera v. Phillip Morris, Inc., 395 F.3d 1142, 1146 (9th Cir. 2005) (citing Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986)). A fact is "material" if it could affect the outcome of the case. Id. The court reviews evidence and draws inferences in the light most favorable to the non-moving party. Miller v. Glenn Miller Prods., Inc., 454 F.3d 975, 988 (9th Cir. 2006) (quoting Hunt v. Cromartie, 526 U.S. 541, 552 (1999)). When the moving party has met its burden, the non-moving party must present "specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue for trial." Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 586-87 (1986) (emphasis in original) (quoting Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(e)).

DISCUSSION

Mr. Mullins moves for summary judgment as to both of plaintiff s declaratory relief counts: rescission and no coverage. Mr. Mullins asserts that he is entitled to judgment in his favor as to both claims under ORS § 742.456, [3]Walker v. Fireman's Fund Ins. Co., 114 Or. 545 (1925), and the terms of the contract. Because this Court finds that the terms of the contract are sufficient to ...


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