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Hoosier Insurance Co. v. Riggs

Court of Appeals of Indiana

March 7, 2018

Hoosier Insurance Company, Appellant,
v.
Nicole R. Riggs and Michael J. Riggs, Appellees.

         Appeal from the Boone Superior Court Trial Court Cause No. 06D01-1704-CT-416 The Honorable Matthew C. Kincaid, Judge

          Attorney for Appellant Kevin L. Moyer Moyer Law Firm, P.C. Indianapolis, Indiana

          Attorney for Appellee Richard K. Milam Lebanon, Indiana

          Barnes, Judge.

         Case Summary

         [¶1] Hoosier Insurance Company ("Hoosier") appeals the trial court's order of dismissal entered in favor of Nicole R. Riggs and Michael J. Riggs ("the Riggses"). We reverse and remand with instructions.

         Issue

         [¶2] The sole issue before us is whether the trial court erred in dismissing Hoosier's subrogation claim because Hoosier was not a real party in interest for purposes of pursuing a breach of contract claim against the Riggses.

         Facts

         [¶3] During the relevant period, Frank and Leah Harker ("the Harkers") owned real property ("the Premises") in Lebanon. The Premises were insured under an insurance policy underwritten by Hoosier. In June 2013, the Harkers leased the Premises to the Riggses pursuant to a written agreement ("Lease"). Dustin Blevins also resided on the Premises during the Riggses' lease term. On April 22, 2015, the Premises sustained $42, 497.27 in fire damage after Blevins allegedly left burning incense unattended. The Lease provided, in part, as follows:

5. Use and Occupancy. [The Riggses] shall use the Leased Premises only for residential purposes and shall comply with all federal, state and local laws and ordinances. [The Riggses] shall commit no waste thereon, and shall deliver the premises to [the Harkers] at the end of the lease term in as good of condition as when the lease commenced, normal wear and tear excepted. . . .
* * * * *
7. Insurance. [The Riggses are] responsible for obtaining fire and extended coverage, including public liability[ ] insurance with [the Harkers] to be listed as an additional insured under the policy. [The Riggses] shall also be responsible for renter's coverage on [the Riggses'] own personal property located on the Leased Premises. [The Riggses] shall indemnify and hold [the Harkers] harmless from all claims of thi9rd [sic] parties for bodily injury, property damage or death arising from [the Riggses'] use or occupancy of the Leased Premises.

App. Vol. II pp. 9-10. After the fire, Hoosier paid $42, 497.27 to or on behalf of the Harkers for ...


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