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Key Risk Insurance Co. v. Peck

Court of Appeals of North Carolina

March 7, 2017

KEY RISK INSURANCE COMPANY, Plaintiff,
v.
CHAD PECK, Defendant/Third-Party Plaintiff,
v.
MARK ANDREW MCGUIRE, Third-Party Defendant.

          Heard in the Court of Appeals 6 February 2017.

         Appeal by plaintiff from orders entered 25 April 2016 by Judge W. Allen Cobb in Craven County, No. 15 CVS 1600 Superior Court.

          Macrae, Perry, Macrae & Whitley, LLP, by Gregory T. Whitley, for plaintiff-appellant.

          Ennis, Baynard, Morton, Medlin & Brown P.A., by Stephen C. Baynard, for defendant-appellee Peck.

          TYSON, Judge.

         Key Risk Insurance Company ("Key Risk") appeals from orders entered granting Chad Peck's ("Defendant") motion to dismiss and denying Key Risk's motion to substitute a party. We affirm.

         I. Factual Background

          Judith Holliday ("Holliday") was employed at CarolinaEast Medical Center, Inc. ("CarolinaEast"). Key Risk provided workers' compensation insurance to CarolinaEast.

         On 3 February 2013, Holliday and Third-Party Defendant, Mark Andrew McGuire ("McGuire"), responded to an emergency call. McGuire drove the ambulance, while Holliday was seated in the front passenger seat. Key Risk alleged the ambulance approached an intersection with its emergency lights and sirens activated while en route. Key Risk further alleged Defendant failed to yield, entered the intersection, and collided with the ambulance.

         Holliday and Defendant received and alleged injuries resulting from the collision. Defendant signed a "Property Damage Release" releasing CarolinaEast, McGuire, and American Alternative Insurance Corporation from further liability for the collision in exchange for payment of $5, 724.56. Defendant also signed a "Release in Full" wherein he released CarolinaEast, McGuire, Glatfelter Claims Management, Inc., and American Alternative Insurance Corporation from further liability for the collision in exchange for payment of $4, 143.45 for his bodily injuries.

         Holliday received extensive medical care for her injuries. Key Risk's complaint alleged it paid Holliday $63, 965.58 as CarolinaEast's provider of workers' compensation insurance. Key Risk's complaint further alleged it filed the proper forms with the North Carolina Industrial Commission, which admitted Holliday's right to compensation for medical treatment for the injuries she had sustained in the collision.

         On 3 December 2015, Key Risk filed its complaint. Key Risk alleged Defendant was negligent in the operation of his vehicle, and it was entitled to recover the workers' compensation benefits paid to Holliday from Defendant. Defendant filed an answer and a third-party complaint against McGuire. McGuire filed an answer and a motion for judgment on the pleadings.

         Defendant moved to dismiss the action on 29 March 2016 pursuant to Rules 12(b)(1) and 12(b)(6) of the North Carolina Rules of Civil Procedure. On 13 April 2016, Key Risk moved to substitute Holliday as the named plaintiff pursuant to N.C. Gen. Stat. § 97-10.2.

         After hearing oral arguments of counsel and reviewing the submissions of the parties, the trial court denied McGuire's motion for judgment on the pleadings, denied Key Risk's motion to substitute a party, and granted Defendant's motion to dismiss. Key Risk appeals.

         II. Jurisdiction

         Jurisdiction lies in this Court pursuant to N.C. Gen. Stat. § 7A-27(b) (2015).

         III. Issues

         Key Risk argues the trial court erred by granting the motion to dismiss for lack of standing. In the alternative, Key Risk argues, even if it did not have standing to bring the claim, the trial court ...


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