Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

United Financial Casualty Co. v. Ball

United States Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit

October 30, 2019

UNITED FINANCIAL CASUALTY COMPANY, Plaintiff - Appellee,
v.
GREG ALLEN BALL, Defendant-Appellant, and MILTON HARDWARE, LLC; BUILDERS DISCOUNT, LLC; RODNEY PERRY, Defendants.

          Argued: September 18, 2019

          Appeal from the United States District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia, at Huntington. Robert C. Chambers, District Judge. (3:17-cv-02002)

         ARGUED:

          Stephen Brooks Farmer, FARMER, CLINE & CAMPBELL, PLLC, Charleston, West Virginia, for Appellant.

          Susan Renee Snowden, JACKSON KELLY, PLLC, Martinsburg, West Virginia, for Appellee.

         ON BRIEF:

          Jennifer D. Roush, FARMER, CLINE & CAMPBELL, PLLC, Charleston, West Virginia, for Appellant.

          Before WILKINSON, NIEMEYER, and AGEE, Circuit Judges.

          NIEMEYER, CIRCUIT JUDGE

         In this appeal, we determine whether the Worker's Compensation exclusion or the Employee Indemnification and Employer's Liability exclusion in a standard commercial automobile insurance policy excludes coverage for the liability of a third-party permissive user of an insured vehicle who caused personal injuries to an employee of a named insured.

         While employees of Milton Hardware, LLC, including Milton Hardware's owner, were performing construction work at the home of Rodney Perry in Milton, West Virginia, Milton Hardware's owner authorized Perry to move one of Milton Hardware's trucks, which was blocking the driveway. In doing so, however, Perry accidentally struck a Milton Hardware employee, Greg Ball, causing him serious injuries.

         When Ball requested indemnification from Milton Hardware's insurer, United Financial Casualty Company, United Financial denied coverage and commenced this action for a declaratory judgment that the policy it issued to Milton Hardware did not cover Perry's liability for Ball's injuries. The district court agreed. While the court recognized that Perry was a permissive user of the truck and therefore an "insured," as defined in United Financial's policy, the court concluded that the Worker's Compensation exclusion in the policy eliminated coverage because Ball was an employee of a named insured and the policy excluded coverage for "[a]ny obligation for which an insured . . . may be held liable under workers' compensation . . . law." Because of this holding, the court did not directly address the Employee Indemnification and Employer's Liability exclusion, on which United Financial had also relied to deny coverage.

         We conclude that because Ball's negligence claim against Perry was a claim against a third party, rather than a claim against his employer for workers' compensation, the Worker's Compensation exclusion did not apply. We also conclude that the policy's broader exclusion for Employee Indemnification and Employer's Liability, which on its face would apply to exclude coverage for Perry's liability to Ball, was inoperable because its limitation of coverage contravened West Virginia Code § 33-6-31, which requires motor vehicle insurance policies issued in the State to provide liability coverage to individuals using an insured vehicle with the owner's consent, except when the injured person can claim workers' compensation in connection with an accident for which his employer is liable. Because we conclude that neither the Worker's ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.