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Atlantic States Insurance Co. v. Jeanfreau

Superior Court of Delaware, New Castle

May 6, 2015

ATLANTIC STATES INSURANCE COMPANY, Plaintiff,
v.
KYLE ROBERT JEANFREAU, through his guardian ad litem CYNTHIA O. JEANFREAU, ROBERT P. JEANFREAU, and EUGENE C. ANDERSON Defendant.

Submitted: January 19, 2015

Susan L. Hauske, Esquire, Tybout, Redfearn & Pell, Attorney for Plaintiff Atlantic States Insurance Company.

Beth H. Christman, Esquire, Casarino Christman Shalk Ransom & Doss, P.A., Attorney for Defendant Cynthia O. Jeanfreau.

Robert Jeanfreau, Pro Se Defendant.

Kyle Jeanfreau, Pro Se Defendant.

Gilbert F. Shelsby, Esquire; Robert J. Leoni, Esquire; Shelsby & Leoni, Attorneys for Defendant Eugene C. Anderson.

MEMORANDUM OPINION

WILLIAM C. CARPENTER, JR. JUDGE

Before this Court are Atlantic States Insurance Company ("Plaintiff" or "Atlantic States") and Defendant Cynthia Jeanfreau's ("Defendant" or "Cynthia") Motions for Summary Judgment. For the foregoing reasons, the Court will deny Atlantic States' Motion for Summary Judgment and grant in part and deny in part Cynthia's Motion for Summary Judgment.

FACTUAL & PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

The motions currently before the Court arise out of a motor vehicle accident which occurred on March 2, 2012, involving Defendant Kyle Jeanfreau ("Kyle") and a vehicle in which Defendant Eugene C. Anderson ("Anderson") was a passenger. At the time of the accident, Kyle was operating a Signature Construction Services ("Signature") vehicle assigned to his father, Defendant Robert Jeanfreau ("Robert"), an employee of Signature. At all times pertinent to this case, Signature's vehicle was insured by Atlantic States.

At the time of the accident, Kyle was working at Signature while on spring break from school. Robert directed Kyle to go to the BP Station "down the street" to get gas and milk. Kyle was on his way back from the BP Station when he struck the vehicle in which Anderson was a passenger. Anderson suffered injuries and filed suit against Kyle, Robert, Cynthia as Kyle's mother and guardian, and the Jeanfreau's insurance company, State Farm.[1]

Kyle's father, Robert, was hired by Signature in March 2011. At the time of his hiring, Robert signed a New Employee Information Form ("NEIF") acknowledging that he had access to, and agreed to read and abide by, the policies and procedures of the Signature Group Handbook (the "Handbook"). What was permissive use of a company vehicle was laid out in the Handbook; however, Robert was never given a copy of the Handbook, despite requesting a copy in his capacity as a supervisor. At most it appears that Robert was given a chance to look at the Handbook once, during a 30-45 minute meeting, while filling out other paperwork associated with the hiring process.

Kyle was originally hired by Signature in the Summer of 2011 while on a break from school. Kyle's mother, Cynthia, with whom he primarily resided, signed the New Hire Information Form supplied by Signature in her capacity as his parent/guardian. Neither Kyle, nor Cynthia, were ever given a Handbook or a vehicle use policy to read or review.

Signature, the owner of the vehicle, maintained a Commercial Auto Insurance Policy (the "Policy") on the vehicle from Atlantic States. The Policy required Atlantic States to pay damages for bodily injury or property damage caused ...


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