SUPREME COURT : COUNTY OF CHAUTAUQUA
CAROLE A. BUCKLIN,
AS ADMINISTRATIX OF THE ESTATE OF
MELANIE R. BUCKLIN, DECEASED
VS INDEX #H-11198
STATE FARM INSURANCE COMPANY;
PRUDENTIAL PROPERTY AND CASUALTY
INSURANCE COMPANY; SCOTT A.
CRAWFORD AND DAVID A. CRAWFORD
ALLEN, LIPPES & SHONN
Attorneys for Plaintiff
(Beth L. Hoffman, Esq.
of Counsel) for Defendant
State Farm Insurance Company
GROSSE, CHELUS, HERDZIK
(Arthur A. Herdzik, Esq.
of Counsel) for Defendant
Prudential Insurance Company
DAVIDSON & O'MARA
Attorneys for Defendants
Scott A. Crawford and
David A. Crawford
DECISION and ORDER
Decedent was injured in an auto collision between her
car and a 1988 Nissan driven by Scott Crawford. That car
was owned by Scott and his father, David, who had a
$100,000/$300,000 State Farm policy on another vehicle.
Defendant State Farm moves for a judgment pursuant to
CPLR 3001 and 3212 declaring that the policy covering
David Crawford does not apply and that the $50,000 under-
insured portion of a Prudential policy covering
plaintiff's vehicle does.
The State Farm policy provided coverage for "newly
acquired cars". The Nissan had been acquired by Scott
nine days before the accident, insured in his name but
titled to him and his father.
Defendant's motion is denied. David was an owner and
liable as such for the negligence of any operator of that
Nissan. He had a $100,000/$300,000 policy that provided
coverage for any newly acquired cars.
It is inconceivable that from the wording of the
policy he would not consider that he personally was
protected to the extent of the face amount of his $100,000
policy on his primary auto and any newly acquired vehicle.
A plain reading of the policy reflects that intent.
On Page 8 of the policy there is a reference to
"other liability coverage". Paragraph 1 is not applicable
since the other policy was not issued to David ("you").
Paragraph 2 provides that State Farm's share under David's
policy would be "the percent that the limit of liability
of this policy bears to the total of all vehicle liability
coverage applicable to the accident." All vehicle
coverage "applicable" to the accident includes Scott's
$50,000 policy, Prudential's $50,000, and David's
$100,000. Thus, State Farms share is $100,000.
Paragraph 4 states that "This coverage does not apply
if there is other vehicle liability coverage on a newly
acquired car." This exclusion would not apply to any
vehicle titled to David.
State Farm drafted the policy. Any ambiguity must be
resolved against the insurer. KENNEDY V VALLEY FORGE INS.
CO., 203 A.D.2d 930 612 NYS2d 712 (4th Dept) aff'd 84 NY2d
963, 621 NYS2d 512.
The Court declares that the $100,000/$300,000 policy
State Farm Insurance Company covering David Crawford
applies to this accident; State Farm must provide coverage
on behalf of Scott and David Crawford for the claim of
THIS IS THE DECISION AND ORDER OF THIS COURT. NO
FURTHER ORDER SHALL BE NECESSARY.
Dated: January , 1996
Mayville, New York
Supreme Court Justice
To all Counsel:
Please take notice that a DECISION and ORDER of
which the within is a copy, is duly granted in the above
entitled action on the day of , 1996, and
duly entered in the office of the Clerk of the County of
Chautauqua on the same date.