Submitted: April 1, 2015
Michael I. Silverman, Esquire Silverman, McDonald & Friedman Attorney for Plaintiffs Kelly Tracey and Janet Blankenship
Colin M. Shalk, Esquire Casarino Christman Shalk Ransom & Doss Attorney for Defendant State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company
Richard R. Cooch, R.J.
Plaintiffs Kelly Tracey and Janet Blankenship and Defendant State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company have cross-moved for summary judgment. The Court must determine whether State Farm violated 18 Del C. § 3902(b) by failing to offer certain coverage when Plaintiff Blankenship changed her automobile insurance policy in 2007 such that reformation of Plaintiff Blankenship's policy is now warranted. The Court must also determine whether any of Plaintiff Tracey's PIP bills are payable by Defendant pursuant to statute.
The Court concludes that State Farm did not breach any statutory duty to offer uninsured/underinsured ("UM/UIM") coverage to Plaintiff Blankenship and as a result, reformation of Plaintiff Blankenship's policy is not warranted. Further, the Court finds that no PIP bills are eligible for payment under the particular facts of this case. Plaintiffs' Motion for Summary Judgment is therefore DENIED. Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment is therefore GRANTED.
II. FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
The parties in this case agreed to a stipulation of the factual and procedural history that was submitted to the Court in two parts. The parties agree that these are the complete operative facts upon which to decide the motions. The two stipulations appear in toto below:
A. Joint Stipulation of Facts Related to Underinsured Motorist Claims:
1. On May 25, 2011 Kelly Tracey was a pedestrian who was struck by a vehicle driven by Deborah Fitzgerald.
2. Ms. Tracey suffered from multiple injuries and was hospitalized from May 26, 2011 through July 25, 2011.
3. On the above referenced date, Kelly Tracey had a policy of insurance with State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company. Plaintiff is not pursuing reformation of the UIM limits on that policy.
4. Given the applicable coverage available through the striking vehicle, Plaintiff Tracey is not eligible for UIM benefits under the Tracey Policy.
5. On May 25, 2011 Kelly Tracey was a resident relative of Janet Blankenship, and thus an insured pursuant to the Blankenship Policy.
6. On May 25, 2011 Janet Blankenship had a policy of insurance with State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company. On that date, Ms. Blankenship's policy (hereinafter "the Blankenship Policy") had split liability limits of $300, 000 bodily injury per person, $300, 000 bodily injury per occurrence and $100, 000 property damage. This is commonly known as 300/300/100. The Blankenship Policy also had split UM/UIM limits of $100, 000 bodily injury per person, $300, 000 bodily injury per occurrence and $10, 000 property damage. This is commonly known as 100/300/10.
7. The Blankenship Policy was original purchased on January 2, 1990.
8. The last policy change to occur on the Blankenship Policy occurred in 2007, when Ms. Blankenship added a 2006 Chrysler Sebring to the insurance policy. No additional offers of UM or UIM coverages were made at that time.
9. At the time of the 2007 change, the Blankenship Policy carried UIM benefits in the same amount ...