Submitted: April 5, 2018
Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment: DENIED
Francis J. Jones, Esquire Morris James LLP.
D. Tome, Esquire Kelly E. Rowe, Esquire Reilly, Janiczek,
McDevitt, Henrich & Cholden, P.C. Delle Donne Corporate
Counsel, This matter is presently before the Court on the
motion of the Defendant Donegal Mutual Insurance Company
("Defendant") for summary judgment against the
Plaintiffs Wisline Saint-Louis, individually and as Guardian
of John Kelly Dieudonne; Saint Armand Corvil, as Guardian of
Ritchy Corvil; and Lefils Florestal (collectively,
"Plaintiffs"). Plaintiffs oppose the Motion. For
the foregoing reasons, Defendant's Motion for Summary
Judgment is DENIED.
claim arises out of an accident that occurred on March 10,
2017, in Sussex County, Delaware. Saint-Louis was driving a
vehicle owned by her husband, Florestal when a vehicle
operated by Gabriela Reyes struck her. Saint-Louis and her
passengers, Dieudonne and Corvil, were injured and incurred
medical expenses as a result of the accident. At the time of
the collision, Defendant insured Florestal's vehicle
under an automobile insurance policy (hereinafter,
"Policy"), which included personal injury
protection coverage ("PIP"), pursuant to 21
Del. C. § 2118.
and Dieudonne signed applications for benefits on March 28,
2017. On her application for benefits ("AFB"),
Saint-Louis described her injury as "lower back, right
knee and both shoulders." Dieudonne's injury is listed
as "lower back, mid back and neck" on his
On April 3, 2017, Corvil signed an AFB. His injury is
identified as "lower back."
it is not immediately clear from the record when Defendant
received the Plaintiffs' AFBs, on May 5, 2017, Defendant
sent a letter to Plaintiffs noting that the investigation
into the accident was ongoing and a decision regarding the
claims would be made at the conclusion of the investigation.
Identical letters were sent to Plaintiffs on a regular basis
through at least November 1, 2017. The letters do not specify
the nature of Defendant's ongoing investigation.
August 14, 2017, Plaintiffs initiated this suit against
Defendant for failure to pay medical expenses and bad faith
in failing to do so. Plaintiffs later amended the complaint
to add a claim for damages to Florestal's vehicle.
Plaintiffs seek compensatory damages, consequential damages,
punitive damages, pre-judgment interest, post-judgment
interest, attorney's fees, and costs.
asserts it is entitled to summary judgment because it has
paid medical expenses, save a chiropractor's bill, and
there is no evidence its delay in doing so was motivated by
parties have stipulated to the dismissal with prejudice of
the claims against Saint-Louis and Florestal. The claims
remain pending as to Dieudonne and Corvil.
STANDARD OF REVIEW
Court will grant summary judgment only when no material
issues of fact exist, and the moving party bears the burden
of establishing the non-existence of material issues of
fact. Once the moving party has met its burden,
the burden shifts to the non-moving party to establish the
existence of material issues of fact. Where the moving party
produces an affidavit or other evidence sufficient under
Superior Court Civil Rule 56 in support of its motion and the
burden shifts, the non-moving party may not rest on its own
pleadings, but must provide evidence showing a genuine issue
of material fact for trial. If, after discovery, the
non-moving party cannot make a sufficient showing of the
existence of an essential element of his or her case, summary
judgment must be ...