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Auto Club Insurance Co. v. Estate of Lewis

Florida Court of Appeals, Fifth District

December 13, 2019

AUTO CLUB INSURANCE COMPANY OF FLORIDA, Appellant,
v.
THE ESTATE OF NORMAN LEWIS AND BILLIE JARRARD, Appellees.

         NOT FINAL UNTIL TIME EXPIRES TO FILE MOTION FOR REHEARING AND DISPOSITION THEREOF IF FILED

          Appeal from the Circuit Court for Orange County, Heather L. Higbee, Judge.

          Wendy F. Lumish and Daniel A. Rock, of Bowman and Brooke LLP, Miami, for Appellant.

          Jessica C. Conner, of Dean, Ringers, Morgan & Lawton, P.A., Orlando, for Appellee, The Estate of Norman Lewis.

          No Appearance for Appellee Billie Jarrard.

          Frank A. Shepherd and Lesley-Anne Marks, of Gray Robinson, P.A., Miami, Amicus Curiae for American Property Casualty Insurance Association.

          EVANDER, C.J.

         Auto Club Insurance Company of Florida ("AAA") appeals the final summary judgment entered against it in a declaratory judgment action that it filed against the Estate of Norman Lewis ("the estate"). The declaratory judgment action was brought to determine the extent of AAA's liability pursuant to the automobile insurance policy held by its insured, Billy Jarrard. In a separate action, it was alleged that Jarrard struck and killed Lewis while operating his vehicle. That action included loss of consortium claims on behalf of Lewis' parents. The limits of liability under the policy were $100, 000 per person and $300, 000 per occurrence. AAA contends that, under the terms of the policy, Lewis' parents' loss of consortium claims are subject to a single per person liability limit. The estate successfully argued to the trial court that Lewis' parents' loss of consortium claims are separate "bodily injury" claims such that their claims are not subject to a single per person limit. We reverse.

         The relevant portions of the policy read as follows:

         DEFINITIONS

Certain other words and phrases have a defined meaning when they are printed in bold italic type.
Bodily injury - means bodily harm, sickness or disease, including death therefrom.

         LIABILITY

1. We will pay damages for which any insured is legally liable because of bodily injury . . . caused by an auto accident. Auto accident means an accident arising out of the ...

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