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Moses v. Nationwide Mutual Fire Insurance Co.

Superior Court of Delaware, Kent

March 31, 2014

TRISHA MONCRIEF MOSES, LINDA J. BALDWIN, KENDALL S. MONCRIEF and ESTATE OF TREVOR R. MONCRIEF, by and through its Administratrix, TRISHA MONCRIEF MOSES, Plaintiffs,
v.
NATIONWIDE MUTUAL FIRE INSURANCE COMPANY, a foreign corporation, as insurer for RAYMOND JOEY GLAESER, Defendant. RAYMOND WARD, JR., RAYSHAUN WARD, SHAWNA WARD, RAYKEEM WARD and PATRICIA WARD, Plaintiffs,
v.
NATIONWIDE MUTUAL FIRE INSURANCE COMPANY, a foreign corporation, as insurer for RAYMOND JOEY GLAESER, Defendant.

Submitted: February 3, 2014

Upon Consideration of Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment GRANTED

William D. Fletcher, Jr., Esquire, Schmittinger & Rodriguez, P.A., Dover, Delaware for Plaintiffs.

Louis J. Rizzo, Jr., Esquire, Reger Rizzo & Darnall LLP, Wilmington, Delaware for Defendant. Young, J.

ORDER

SUMMARY

Nationwide Mutual Fire Insurance Company ("Defendant") moves for summary judgment pursuant to Superior Court Civil Rule 56. The instant motion arises from an action filed by Trisha Moncrief Moses, et. al., and Raymond Ward, Jr., et. al. ("Plaintiffs"), the families of two homicide victims. In this action, Plaintiffs seek coverage from Defendant's automobile insurance policy for a judgment entered against Raymond Joey Glaeser ("Joey Glaeser") in the matters of Estate of Trevor Moncrief et. al. v. Glaeser et. al., Kent County No. 08C-06-014 and Estate of Trevor Moncrief et. al. v. Glaeser et. al., Kent County No. 08C-06-014. The foregoing coverage matters were consolidated.

The underlying Complaint involves a double homicide, after which Joey Glaeser assisted David Hamilton, Jesus Aviles, and Justin Erskine (collectively "the perpetrators") by helping them to bury the bodies of the deceased in Maryland. Plaintiffs are judgment creditors of Joey Glaeser, who utilized an automobile insured by a contract with Defendant, for emotional distress injuries Plaintiffs allegedly sustained arising out of a conspiracy in connection with the transportation of the bodies of the homicide victims in a vehicle, accompanied by Joey Glaeser driving another vehicle, followed by the subsequent burial of the bodies. Plaintiffs assert that the Glaeser vehicle was used as an active accessory in accomplishing Joey Glaeser's plan with two of the perpetrators to transport and bury the corpses secretively. A sufficient causal nexus between Joey Glaeser's use of the insured vehicle and Plaintiffs' injuries does not exist. Therefore, Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment is GRANTED.

FACTS AND PROCEDURE

On June 5, 2006 and into the early morning of June, 6, 2006, the perpetrators fatally assaulted Trevor Moncrief ("Moncrief") and Raymond S. Ward, Sr. ("Ward"). After the shooting and subsequent death of Moncrief and Ward, David Hamilton called his sister Randi Hamilton at her home in Camden, Delaware. At the time, Randi Hamilton resided with her boyfriend, Joey Glaeser. Randi Hamilton allegedly told David Hamilton to come to her residence so that she and Joey Glaeser could help him dispose of the two victims' bodies. David Hamilton and Justin Erskine indicated that they wanted to dispose of the bodies on Joey Glaeser's family property near Goldsboro, Maryland. Joey Glaeser agreed to accompany David Hamilton and Justin Erskine to Joey Glaeser's family property for the purpose of burying the corpses.

Two vehicles were involved in this endeavor. David Hamilton and Justin Erskine drove an Ebb Tide/Jaeger Toyota Tundra vehicle (the "Ebb Tide") with the bodies inside, while Glaeser drove a Dodge Durango (the "insured vehicle"), with the permission of his father, Raymond Henry Glaeser ("Henry Glaeser"), which vehicle was insured by Defendant. After escorting David Hamilton and Justin Erskine to his family property, Joey Glaeser and the other two men (collectively "the conspirators") dug a hole more than six feet deep, in which they disposed of Moncrief's and Ward's bodies. After burying the bodies, Joey Glaeser returned to Delaware, traveling in the insured vehicle.

Defendant issued an automobile commercial insurance policy on the insured vehicle to Sparkle Pools, a business owned by Henry Glaeser. Defendant's insurance policy stated the following in regards to coverage of the insured vehicle:

We will pay all sums an 'insured' legally must pay as damages because of 'bodily injury' or 'property damage' to which this insurance applies, caused by an 'accident' and resulting from the ownership, maintenance or use of a covered 'auto.'

Plaintiffs filed their first Complaint on June 5, 2008 against Joey Glaeser, Randi Hamilton, David G. Hamilton, Charles B. Jaeger, II, Ebb Tide Nursery, Inc., Jesus Aviles, Justin Erskine and John M. Minker, IV, regarding the wrongful death of Moncrief. Joey Glaeser failed to file an Answer to Plaintiff's Complaint. On September 7, 2010, Plaintiffs filed a Motion for Entry of Default Judgment against Raymond Glaeser, to which Joey Glaeser did not appropriately respond. On October 1, 2010, this Court entered a default judgment against Joey Glaeser with regard to Plaintiffs.

On November 30, 2010, an inquisition at the Bar was held. This Court assessed damages against Joey Glaeser, jointly and severally with Defendant Randi Hamilton, in the amount of $750, 000 for Plaintiffs. The damages were assessed for Plaintiffs' emotional distress after learning about the transportation and ...


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