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National Union Fire Ins. Co. of Pittsburgh, PA v. Njuguna

United States District Court, E.D. North Carolina, Western Division

April 11, 2014

NATIONAL UNION FIRE INSURANCE COMPANY OF PITTSBURGH, PA, Plaintiff,
v.
MARIA NJUGUNA, Individually and as Administrator of the Estate of Adrian Njuguna, Defendant

Page 638

For National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh, PA, Plaintiff: Bryan T. Simpson, Leslie Price Lasher, Teague, Campbell, Dennis & Gorham, LLP, Raleigh, NC.

For Maria Njuguna, Individually and as Administrator of the Estate of Andrian Njuguna, Defendant: Charles T. Francis, LEAD ATTORNEY, The Francis Law Firm, PLLC, Raleigh, NC.

OPINION

Page 639

ORDER

LOUISE W. FLANAGAN, United States District Judge.

This matter comes before the court on plaintiff's motion for summary judgment (DE 21). The motion has been fully briefed and issues raised are ripe for ruling. For reasons set forth below, the court GRANTS plaintiff's motion.

STATEMENT OF THE CASE

This declaratory judgment action was instituted by plaintiff by complaint filed March 14, 2013. Plaintiff, who is engaged in the business of providing liability insurance, seeks a declaratory judgment as to whether automobile liability insurance policy number 4309510 (" the policy" ), which it issued to General Parts International, Inc. (" General Parts" ), in 2010, and which was renewed in 2011, provides underinsured motorist (" UIM" ) coverage for claims made by defendant in an underlying wrongful death lawsuit filed by defendant in state court (" the underlying lawsuit" ).[1]

Plaintiff filed the instant summary judgment motion, arguing that there is no genuine issue of material fact that the policy it issued to General Parts did not provide UIM coverage, and that such coverage is not required under North Carolina law. In the alternative, plaintiff contends that even if the policy provides UIM coverage,

Page 640

the claims in the underlying lawsuit do not trigger coverage under the policy.

STATEMENT OF FACTS

General Parts, which is not a party in this litigation and does business as " CarQuest," is primarily a supplier of replacement products, accessories, supplies, and equipment for motor vehicles. Jim Watson (" Watson" ) Aff. ¶ 4 (DE 24).[2] It employs over 16,000 employees and operates distribution centers and merchandise stores. Id. As part of its business, and specifically part of its distribution system, General Parts owns, hires, or borrows ...


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