FSM Partner Cara Rose receives favorable judgment in The Court of Appeals for the Southern District of Missouri.07/29/2022
Cara Rose represented Trexis Insurance Corporation in a dispute over the interpretation of an uninsured motorist provision of an automobile insurance policy. The case arose from a 2017 accident involving a bicyclist who was stuck by the operator of a golf cart in an RV Resort. The operator of the bicycle was insured under a Trexis issued insurance policy. However, the policy expressly excluded from the definition of “uninsured motor vehicle,” any equipment specifically designed for use off of public roads. The bicyclist filed a claim under the uninsured motorist provisions of the policy, and it was denied on the basis that the accident occurred on a private road in the RV Resort. The denial of coverage resulted in subsequent litigation.
At the trial court level, both parties argued whether the accident occurred on a public or private road. The trial court sided with Trexis in finding that the road was private and therefore, the operator of the golf cart did not qualify as an uninsured motor vehicle.
The Court of Appeals for the Southern District of Missouri affirmed the Greene County, Missouri, Judgement in favor of Trexis. The Court held that the plain or ordinary meaning of the term “public road” should apply, and based on the facts presented, the trial court did not err in determining the accident occurred on a private roadway, and coverage was unwarranted.