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Accident Fund Insurance Co. Of America v. Zurich American Insurance Co.

Superior Court of Delaware, New Castle

October 31, 2013

ACCIDENT FUND INSURANCE COMPANY OF AMERICA, A/S/O VAUGHN HRUSKA AND RODNEY BETHEA Plaintiff,
v.
ZURICH AMERICAN INSURANCE COMPANY, Defendant

Date Submitted: July 2, 2013

On Defendant Zurich American Insurance Company's Motion to Dismiss.

Louis J. Rizzo, Jr., Esq., Reger, Rizzo, & Darnall, LLP, Wilmington, Delaware. Attorney for Plaintiff.

Lee Ann Wurst, Esq., Marshall, Dennehey, Warner, Coleman, & Goggin, Wilmington, Delaware. Attorney for Defendant.

ORDER

Calvin L. Scott, Jr. Judge

Introduction

Defendant Zurich American Insurance Company's ("Zurich") moves to dismiss Plaintiff Accident Fund Insurance Company of America's ("Accident Fund") Complaint pursuant to Del. Super. Ct. Civ. R. 12(b)(6) for failure to statue a claim. In the Complaint, Accident Fund claimed that, as the workers' compensation carrier, it was subrogated to the rights of the injured employees in this case and entitled to reimbursement of payments made for benefits which were eligible to be paid by the Personal Injury Protection ("PIP") carrier.[1] Zurich argues that it is not required to reimburse Accident Fund under Delaware's Workers' Compensation Act, 19 Del. C. § 2301, et seq., or Delaware's No Fault Statute, 21 Del. C. § 2118. For the reasons below, Zurich's motion to dismiss is DENIED.

Background

On or about December 3, 2010, Vaughn Hruska ("Hruska") and Rodney Bethea ("Bethea") sustained injuries as occupants of a vehicle involved in a motor vehicle accident in Delaware. The vehicle was insured under a motor vehicle insurance policy issued by Zurich and registered in South Carolina, which did not include minimum PIP coverage.[2]

Accident Fund provided worker's compensation benefits to Hruska and Bethea because they were injured in the course and scope of their employment. Hruska and Bethea submitted claims for workers' compensation. Accident Fund then paid $10, 340.68 to Hruska and $35, 239.63 to Bethea in benefits which were PIP eligible. On December 5, 2012, Accident Fund submitted a written request for payment to Zurich, but Zurich made no payments.

Standard of Review

A motion to dismiss, brought pursuant to Superior Court Rule 12(b)(6), for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted is appropriate only when there appears to be no reasonably conceivable set of circumstances susceptible of proof under the complaint.[3] When determining whether to grant the motion, the Court must accept all well-pled allegations in the complaint as true.[4]

Discussion

First, the Court notes that neither party disputes whether the injured employees would be entitled to a direct claim against Zurich for PIP benefits. Therefore, the only issue before the Court is whether Accident Fund, as the workers' compensation carrier and subrogee of the injured ...


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