760 P.2d 152 (N.M. 1988), 17403, Castorena v. Colonial Life and Acc. Ins. Co.

Docket Nº:17403.
Citation:760 P.2d 152, 107 N.M. 460, 1988 -NMSC- 070
Opinion Judge:[9] Stowers
Party Name:Billy CASTORENA, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. COLONIAL LIFE AND ACCIDENT INSURANCE COMPANY, Defendant-Appellee.
Attorney:Daniel J. O'Friel, Winston Roberts-Hohl, Santa Fe, for plaintiff-appellant., Durrett, Jordon & Durrett, P.C., Lisa K. Durrett, Charles W. Durrett, Alamogordo, for defendant-appellee. [7] Daniel J. O'Friel, Santa Fe, New Mexico, Winston Roberts-Hohl, Santa Fe, New Mexico, for Appellant. [8] Durre...
Judge Panel:SCARBOROUGH, C.J., and WALTERS and RANSOM, JJ., CONCUR.
Case Date:August 25, 1988
Court:Supreme Court of New Mexico
 
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Page 152

760 P.2d 152 (N.M. 1988)

107 N.M. 460, 1988 -NMSC- 070

Billy CASTORENA, Plaintiff-Appellant,

v.

COLONIAL LIFE AND ACCIDENT INSURANCE COMPANY,

Defendant-Appellee.

No. 17403.

Supreme Court of New Mexico.

August 25, 1988

Page 153

[107 N.M. 461] Daniel J. O'Friel, Winston Roberts-Hohl, Santa Fe, for plaintiff-appellant.

Durrett, Jordon & Durrett, P.C., Lisa K. Durrett, Charles W. Durrett, Alamogordo, for defendant-appellee.

OPINION

STOWERS, Justice.

Plaintiff-appellant, Billy Castorena (Castorena), the decedent, by his personal representative Magdelena Castorena, appeals from the judgment of the district court granting the motion for summary judgment in favor of defendant-appellee, Colonial Life and Accident Insurance Company (Colonial). We affirm.

While driving his automobile on March 25, 1986, Castorena, a diabetic, had a severe attack of hypoglycemia. Unconscious, he veered off the road and his car came to rest on top of a sign. Castorena sustained no injuries in this one-car accident. Since he was comatose due to the diabetic seizure, he was transported to a local hospital. At the hospital, Castorena received an intravenous (IV) solution of glucose for insulin shock. The IV needle, however, was not properly inserted, forcing a large quantity of solution into the upper part of his left hand. Thereafter, his left hand became gangrenous. Castorena underwent surgery to treat the hand, but finally a below the elbow amputation of his left arm had to be performed.

During this time, Castorena had in effect an insurance policy with Colonial that included a payment provision for a single dismemberment arising out of an accident. Castorena filed a claim with Colonial for the loss of his left arm. Colonial denied the claim on the ground that the amputation was not covered within the policy because the dismemberment was the result of a medical procedure for his diabetic condition and not the result of an accident.

Castorena filed suit against Colonial for breach of contract, bad faith and violation of the New Mexico Insurance Code, NMSA 1978, Sections 59A-16-1 to--30. Both parties moved for summary judgment. The trial court granted judgment in favor of Colonial ruling that Castorena's claim fell within the exclusionary provisions of the policy.

The issue for our determination is whether the amputation of the left arm was the result of...

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