Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Hallums v. Infinity Insurance Co.

United States Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit

December 17, 2019

SHELITHEA HALLUMS and SAMUEL CASTILLO, individually and as representatives of a class of similarly situated persons, Plaintiffs - Appellants,
v.
INFINITY INSURANCE COMPANY, INFINITY AUTO INSURANCE COMPANY, and JPMORGAN CHASE BANK, N.A., Defendants - Appellees.

          Appeal from the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida D.C. Docket No. 1:16-cv-24507-FAM

          Before WILLIAM PRYOR, MARTIN, and SUTTON, [*] Circuit Judges.

          MARTIN, CIRCUIT JUDGE:

         Shelithea Hallums and Samuel Castillo purchased vehicle insurance which they say is illusory because it insures no risk for which the insured can be liable. They brought a putative class action seeking damages and a declaration that this insurance product is not valid. The District Court held that the insurance product is not illusory and granted summary judgment to the defendants. After oral argument and thorough consideration, we agree and affirm the judgment of the District Court.

         I.

         A.

         Infinity Insurance Company is an Indiana corporation that sells insurance products throughout Florida. Its principal place of business is in Alabama. Infinity Insurance Company, directly and through subsidiaries, provides personal automobile insurance, primarily targeted to "urban" and Hispanic drivers in Arizona, California, Florida, and Texas. Infinity Auto Insurance Company-an Ohio corporation that sells insurance products throughout Florida, with its principal place of business in Alabama-is one such subsidiary. We refer to the companies together as "Infinity."

         Ms. Hallums, a citizen of Florida, leased a 2016 BMW X6 from South Motors BMW, which assigned the lease to Financial Services Vehicle Trust. Mr. Castillo leased a 2017 Land Rover Discovery Sport from Land Rover North Dade, LLC, which assigned the lease to JP Morgan Chase Bank, N.A. Both leases required the plaintiffs to maintain liability insurance with limits of $100, 000 for bodily injuries per person, $300, 000 for bodily injuries per accident, and $50, 000 for property damage per accident (commonly referred to as "100/300/50 limits"). Failure to comply with this requirement could result in termination of the lease and repossession of the automobile.

         Through independent insurance agents, Ms. Hallums and Mr. Castillo separately applied for insurance with Infinity in 2016. Instead of applying for policies with 100/300/50 limits for all insured, the plaintiffs applied for policies with lower limits for themselves but 100/300/50 limits covering only the lessors. The lessors accepted the product as fulfilling the requirements of the plaintiffs' leases.

         The product that provides 100/300/50 limits for the plaintiffs' lessors is Infinity's Lessor Liability Endorsement (the "Endorsement"). The Endorsement reads as follows:

This additional coverage will apply to damages your lessor becomes legally obligated to pay that arise from and are legally related to a loss covered under your policy. The coverage provided by this endorsement . . . is available only to indemnify your lessor pursuant to the terms listed herein.

App. of Appellants, Vol. I, Doc. 5-2 at p.9. Once selected, the Endorsement was incorporated into the broader insurance policy purchased by the plaintiffs. The Florida Office of Insurance ("OIR") has approved the form of Infinity's Endorsement in Florida, as well as its rate for each policy type. The OIR also approved the formula that Infinity uses to calculate its rates. Neither plaintiff has made any claim against their Infinity policies.

         B.

         A federal statute, known as the Graves Amendment, bars claims of vicarious liability against vehicle lessors. See 49 U.S.C. ยง 30106(a). The Graves Amendment does not bar claims of negligence or criminal ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.