Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Royal-Globe Insurance Co. v. Craven case brief

Royal-Globe Insurance Co. v. Craven case brief summary
585 N.E.2d 315 (Mass. 1992)

CASE SYNOPSIS
Plaintiff insurer appealed from the order of the Superior Court (Massachusetts), which granted summary judgment for defendant insured in plaintiff's declaratory action under an uninsured motorist policy after defendant suffered personal injuries in a hit-and-run accident.

CASE FACTS
Plaintiff insurer sought a declaratory judgment that it was not liable to defendant insured under an uninsured motorist policy for personal injuries defendant suffered from a hit-and-run accident. The trial court granted summary judgment for defendant.

DISCUSSION

  • On appeal, the court reversed since defendant's notice to plaintiff was not timely. 
  • Although there was no error in the determination that defendant's disability excused her from notifying plaintiff within 24 hours, as required by the policy, her failure to notify plaintiff for more than three months after her release from the hospital was untimely. 
  • Defendant did not meet her burden of proof in showing that her notice was timely. 
  • The trial court was correct, however, in applying the six-year statute of limitations to the action since the action was one sounding in contract.

CONCLUSION
The court reversed the grant of summary judgment for defendant in plaintiff insurer's declaratory action under an uninsured motorist policy after defendant insured suffered injuries in a hit-and-run accident since defendant's notice to plaintiff was not timely. The court remanded the matter to the Superior Court for a judgment declaring the notice not timely.

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