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Grimes v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co.

United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division

December 3, 2019

CHELSEA GRIMES, Plaintiff,
v.
STATE FARM MUTUAL AUTOMOBILE INSURANCE COMPANY, Defendant.

          ORDER ON DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT (ECF NO. 30)

          JAMES R. SWEENEY II, JUDGE

         Plaintiff Chelsea Grimes brings claims against Defendant State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company (“State Farm”) for breach of contract and breach of the duty of fair dealing and good faith. (Compl., ECF No. 1-1.) Specifically, Grimes alleges that she should be covered as a “resident relative” under her parents' underin-sured motor vehicle policy with State Farm. (Id. ¶7.) She also alleges State Farm has breached their duty of good faith by failing to promptly settle her claim. (Id. ¶10.) State Farm now moves for summary judgment. (ECF No. 30.) For the following reasons, State Farm's Motion for Summary Judgment is granted.

         I. Background

         Construing all facts and reasonable inferences in the light most favorable to Grimes, the pertinent, uncontroverted summary judgment evidence is as follows:

         On February 28, 2016, Grimes was a passenger in a vehicle owned and driven by her boyfriend, Jacob Lewis. (Compl. ¶3, ECF No. 1-1.) The vehicle was struck by another driver, David Johnson, who was deemed at fault for the accident. (Id. ¶4.) Grimes was injured as a result of the collision. (Id. ¶6.)

         Johnson's vehicle was not insured on the date of the accident. (Id. ¶5.) Lucas' vehicle, however, was insured by Farm Bureau, which paid Grimes $5, 000 under medical payments coverage (Grimes Dep. Tr. 54:3-9, ECF No. 32-3) and $100, 000 under its uninsured motor vehicle coverage. (Def.'s Answer ¶7, ECF No. 11.)

         On the date of the accident, Grimes' parents, Tammy K. Grimes and Michael Grimes, held an automobile insurance policy issued by State Farm that covered a 2009 Ford Focus. (State Farm Policy at 3, ECF No. 32-2.) The policy provided, in relevant part, uninsured motor vehicle coverage for bodily injury up to $250, 000. (Id.) The uninsured motor vehicle policy (the “policy”) defines “insured” as:

1. you;
2. resident relatives;
3. any other person while occupying:
a. your car;
b. a newly acquired car; or
c. a temporary substitute car.
Such vehicle must be used within the scope of your consent. Such other person occupying a vehicle used to carry persons for a charge is not an insured; and
4. any person entitled to recover compensatory damages as a result of bodily injury to an insured as defined in items 1., 2., or 3. above.

(Id. at 17) (emphasis in original). “You” is defined as “the named insured or named insureds shown on the Declarations Page.” (Id. at 8.) (emphasis in original). The named insureds on the Declarations Page are Tammy K. and Michael ...


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