Eastern District Affirms Summary Judgment for Insurer in $34.5 Million Equitable Garnishment and Bad Faith Case06/12/2018
Plaintiffs Howard Sanborn and Jonathan Lopez and Defendant Nathan Worstell appealed from the St. Louis City Circuit Court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of insurer, United Fire & Casualty Company, on claims for equitable garnishment, breach of contract and bad faith failure to settle or defend relating to an automobile liability insurance policy issued by United Fire. Plaintiffs sought to collect a $34.5 million judgment entered against Nathan Worstell in a separate action from the insurer. The Missouri Court of Appeals, Eastern District, affirmed the trial court’s decision in favor of the insurer. In affirming summary judgment for the insurer, the Eastern District held that 1) the automobile liability policy is an owner’s policy and satisfies the requirements of the Missouri Motor Vehicle Financial Responsibility Law (MVFRL); 2) the policy’s “drive other cars” exclusions do not violate public policy or the MVFRL and are enforceable; and 3) the insurer did not owe a duty to defend. The insurer, United Fire & Casualty Company, was represented by FSM partners John Schultz and Matthew Clifford. Howard T. Sanborn, et al. v. United Fire & Cas. Co., et al., ED 106120 (June 12, 2018).