FORT MYERS — A federal judge has partially granted a motion for summary judgment in a lawsuit involving an insurance coverage dispute with Safeco Insurance.
U.S. District Judge Sheri Polster Chappell granted Safeco's motion in part and denied the motion in part, according to an opinion and order filed May 7 in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida.
Safeco Insurance Co. of Illinois and Safeco Insurance Co. of America filed the lawsuit against Joseph Tremblay, Cody James Morrison, Romarrio Anthony Scott, Raquel Maria Nunez, Julie Lippson and Steven Lippson in 2016, seeking a declaration that Tremblay's car and motorcycle policies would not cover claims from an April 2016 accident.
A separate lawsuit was filed in state court in Charlotte County by Morrison against the Lippsons and Tremblay regarding the accident.
Safeco also sought a declaration that the umbrella policy provided limited indemnity coverage over Tremblay's liability from the accident.
Morrison was the only defendant to oppose the motion for summary judgment.
In July 2015, Tremblay leased a Nissan Rogue for Julie Lippson. On April 16, 2016, Steven Lippson was driving the vehicle when he was involved in an accident with Morrison.
While Tremblay had several policies with Safeco, none was for the vehicle, as Tremblay had never informed Safeco that he had leased the vehicle.
Chappell agreed with Safeco on two counts, saying that the policies issued to Tremblay did not cover any claims arising from the accident, according to the opinion and order.
Regarding the umbrella policy, Chappell ruled that it was not ripe for the court's review because Safeco was seeking to define its duty to indemnify before the state court imposes liability on anyone in the state court case.
Chappell denied the motion for summary judgment on the umbrella policy count and dismissed the count without prejudice for lack of jurisdiction.
All defendants except Morrison failed to appear in the action, which has resulted in default, according to the opinion and order.
Chappell directed Safeco to move for default judgments on Tremblay and the Lippsons or to dismiss them from the suit.