United States District Court, W.D. Virginia, Abingdon Division
S. COLLINS TRUCKING, INC., Plaintiff,
PROGRESSIVE NORTHERN INSURANCE COMPANY, Defendant.
A. WALK, ALTIZER, WALK AND WHITE PLLC, TAZEWELL, VIRGINIA,
FOR PLAINTIFF; JOHN B. MUMFORD, JR. AND LINDSAY L. ROLLINS,
HANCOCK, DANIEL & JOHNSON, P.C., GLEN ALLEN, VIRGINIA,
OPINION AND ORDER
P. JONES UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
diversity action, initially brought in state court and timely
removed to this court,  the plaintiff S. Collins Trucking, Inc.
(“Collins”) has asserted a breach of contract
claim against defendant Progressive Northern Insurance
Company (the “Insurance Company”) arising out of
an insurance policy covering the plaintiff's truck.
Collins contends that following an accident involving the
truck, the Insurance Company was required to pay the
truck's replacement cost and failed to do so. The
Insurance Company has moved for summary judgment. For the
following reasons, I will grant the motion.
following facts are taken from the summary judgment record.
2014, Collins purchased a Peterbilt 389 Tractor (the
“Tractor”) subject to a loan and security
agreement. On October 31, 2016, the Tractor was involved in
an accident, damaging it. At the time of this accident, the
Tractor was covered by a commercial automobile insurance
policy issued by the Insurance Company. Also at this time,
Collins had failed to make payments due under the loan and
security agreement, causing the loan to be in arrears.
selected a Peterbilt dealer to assess the damage to the
Tractor. The dealer ultimately determined that the Tractor
was repairable. As authorized by the lienholder, the dealer
repaired the damage to the Tractor using an advanced frame
rack with laser alignment. The dealer also aligned the
Tractor's axles and confirmed that there was no further
existing frame damage because alignment would not have been
possible otherwise. The Insurance Company paid the dealer a
total of $61, 925.54 for these repairs.
Tractor was then repossessed by the lienholder and sold at
auction. The subsequent owner regularly and frequently
operates the Tractor and has not had any problems with the
frame as repaired by the dealer.
insurance policy in question provided collision coverage that
provides that for a loss resulting from an accident, the
Insurance Company will pay the least of (1) the actual cash
value of the damaged property, (2) the cost of repairing or
replacing the property, or (3) $160, 000 minus any applicable
deduction. The policy was further modified by another
endorsement that provides, among other things, that the
Insurance Company may opt to either pay for, repair, or
replace damaged property.
Insurance Company contends that it did not breach the policy
by refusing to declare the Tractor a total loss and instead
paying only for the Tractor's repairs in light of the
policy option that allowed the Insurance Company to replace
or repair damaged property.
motion for summary judgment has been fully briefed and is
ripe for decision.
judgment is appropriate when “the movant shows that
there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the
movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.”
Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). To raise a genuine issue of material fact
sufficient to avoid summary judgment, the evidence must be
“such that a reasonable jury could return a verdict for
the nonmoving party.” Anderson v. Liberty Lobby,
Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986). In making this
determination, “the court is required to view the facts
and draw reasonable inferences in a light most favorable to
the nonmoving party.” Shaw v. Stroud, 13 F.3d
791, 798 (4th Cir. 1994).
clear from the summary judgment record that the parties do
not dispute any material facts. In its response, Collins
concedes that it does not disagree with the statement of
facts set forth by the Insurance Company, including that the
Tractor was repairable and that the policy language did not
require the Insurance Company to pay the replacement cost if