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Integon Nat'l Insurance Co. v. Maurizzio

Court of Appeals of North Carolina

March 17, 2015

INTEGON NATIONAL INSURANCE COMPANY, Plaintiff,
v.
DAIJAH MAURIZZIO, by and through her Guardian ad Litem, BARBARA LANGLEY, and JASON and RENAE MAURIZZIO, Defendants

Heard in the Court of Appeals: February 18, 2015.

Page 416

Frazier Hill & Fury, R.L.L.P., by Torin L. Fury, for plaintiff-appellant.

Hardee & Hardee, L.L.P., by Charles R. Hardee and Moulton B. Massey, IV, for defendants-appellees.

TYSON, Judge. Judges STEPHENS and HUNTER, JR. concur.

OPINION

Page 417

Appeal by plaintiff from order entered 23 July 2014 by Judge Wayland J. Sermons, Jr. in Beaufort County Superior Court No. 12 CVS 823.

TYSON, Judge.

Integon National Insurance Company (" Plaintiff" ) appeals from order denying Plaintiff's motion for summary judgment and granting the motion for summary judgment of Daijah Maurizzio and Jason and Renae Maurizzio (collectively, " Defendants" ). We affirm.

I. Factual Background

Both parties stipulated to the following facts: On 15 February 2011, Destany Maurizzio (" Destany" ) was operating a vehicle owned by her grandmother, Suzanne Maurizzio (" Suzanne" ). The vehicle was involved in a single car accident. Daijah Maurizzio (" Daijah" ) and Desiree' Maurizzio (" Desiree'" ) were passengers in the vehicle. Desiree' and Daijah suffered injuries as a result of the accident.

The vehicle operated by Destany and owned by Suzanne was insured by Plaintiff. This policy provided $50,000 per person/$100,000 per accident in liability coverage for bodily injury and $50,000 per person/$100,000 per accident in underinsured motorist coverage (" UIM coverage" ). The bodily injury claim of Desiree' was settled within the available liability coverage limits provided by this policy.

Daijah sustained permanent injury in this accident. Defendants alleged expenses in excess of $200,000 were incurred to treat her injuries. Plaintiff tendered the $50,000 per person liability limits from Suzanne's policy to settle Daijah's claim pursuant to a covenant not to enforce judgment.

Daijah was not a named insured under Suzanne's policy, nor was she a resident household member of Suzanne. However, she is an insured under Suzanne's policy for the purposes of UIM coverage, because she was an occupant inside Suzanne's vehicle when the accident occurred.

At the time of the accident, Daijah's parents, Jason and Renae Maurizzio, were insured under an automobile policy also issued by Plaintiff. This policy provided $50,000

Page 418

per person/$100,000 per accident in UIM coverage. At the time of the accident, Daijah resided with her parents and was an insured under their policy for purposes of UIM coverage.

On 27 August 2012, Plaintiff filed a complaint for declaratory judgment. Plaintiff sought for the trial court to declare the policy issued to Jason and Renae Maurizzio did not provide UIM coverage for this accident.

On 8 July 2014, Defendants filed a motion for summary judgment. Defendants contended the UIM coverage provided by Plaintiff's policy issued to Jason and Renae Maurizzio could be stacked on the UIM coverage provided by Plaintiff's policy issued to Suzanne for Daijah's personal injury claim. As a result, Defendants alleged Suzanne's vehicle was ...


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