Cook v. Pedigo, No. 50181

CourtCourt of Appeal of Missouri (US)
Writing for the CourtGARY M. GAERTNER; REINHARD, P.J., and CRIST
Citation714 S.W.2d 949
PartiesRonald COOK and Patricia Cook, his wife, Plaintiffs-Appellants, v. Ronald PEDIGO, Defendant ad Litem for Daryl Dean Rector, deceased, and Cameron Mutual Insurance Company, Defendants-Respondents.
Decision Date26 August 1986
Docket NumberNo. 50181

Page 949

714 S.W.2d 949
Ronald COOK and Patricia Cook, his wife, Plaintiffs-Appellants,
v.
Ronald PEDIGO, Defendant ad Litem for Daryl Dean Rector,
deceased, and Cameron Mutual Insurance Company,
Defendants-Respondents.
No. 50181.
Missouri Court of Appeals,
Eastern District,
Southern Division.
Aug. 26, 1986.

Page 950

Robin E. Fulton, Maurice B. Graham, Schnapp, Graham & Reid, Fredericktown, for plaintiffs-appellants.

David M. Remley, Donald L. Dickerson, Thomasson, Dickerson, Gilbert & Cook, Cape Girardeau, for defendants-respondents.

GARY M. GAERTNER, Judge.

Plaintiffs brought this action against Ronald Pedigo, defendant ad litem for decedent Daryl Dean Rector, to recover damages for injuries sustained when plaintiffs' vehicle was struck by an automobile operated by decedent. Plaintiffs thereafter amended their petition to include their own automobile liability insurer, Cameron Mutual Insurance Company, as a defendant. Plaintiffs alleged that Cameron Mutual could be held liable for plaintiffs' injuries under the uninsured motorist coverage in plaintiffs' policy. Cameron Mutual then filed a motion to dismiss plaintiffs' petition, arguing that it could not be liable for plaintiffs' injuries because decedent was covered by automobile liability insurance at the time of the accident, and that he was not, therefore, an "uninsured motorist." Plaintiffs argued in opposition that decedent was an uninsured motorist because his insurance was less than the minimum amount required under Missouri law. The trial court thereafter granted the motion and dismissed Cameron Mutual from the case on the ground that decedent "was insured and was not an uninsured motorist, nor was he driving an uninsured motor vehicle...." Plaintiffs appeal from that dismissal. We reverse and remand.

It is undisputed, for purposes of this appeal, that decedent negligently operated his automobile on March 23, 1983, so as to strike plaintiffs' vehicle and cause injury to plaintiffs. It is also undisputed that at the time of the accident decedent carried automobile liability insurance in the amount of $10,000 per person and $20,000 per accident, which is less than the minimum amount required under the Motor Vehicle Safety Responsibility Law, § 303.030.5 RSMo Cum.Supp.1984. That section provides that any automobile liability insurance policy issued by an insurance company authorized to do business in Missouri must provide coverage in an amount not less than $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident.

The sole question on this appeal is whether a tortfeasor who carries automobile liability insurance in an amount less than the statutory minimum can be considered an uninsured motorist under § 379.203 RSMo Cum.Supp.1984. 1 (Unless

Page 951

otherwise indicated, all subsequent statutory references refer to RSMo Cum.Supp.1984.) Cameron Mutual contends that this issue was conclusively decided by this court in Brake v. MFA Mutual Insurance Co., 525 S.W.2d 109 (Mo.App.1975). In that case, plaintiff's husband was killed in an automobile accident in which several other persons were also killed or seriously injured. The negligent driver's automobile liability insurer interpled $20,000 into court, which was the limit of the tortfeasor's policy. This amount complied with what was then the statutory minimum under Missouri law. See § 303.030 RSMo 1969. The trial court then prorated this amount among the various claimants, and plaintiff was awarded $4,000.

The plaintiff in Brake thereafter sued her husband's automobile liability insurer to recover under the uninsured motorist coverage provision in his policies. The trial court granted the insurer's motion for summary judgment and the appellate court affirmed, holding that the tortfeasor was not an "uninsured motorist" because his vehicle was covered by a liability insurance policy that complied with the minimum statutory requirements. The court adopted a very narrow construction of the statutory provisions for uninsured motorist protection, holding that the term "uninsured motor vehicle," as used in § 379.203.1, referred exclusively to a vehicle that was not insured in any manner. The court further explained:

No exception was made by the General Assembly for the protection of an injured party where multiple claims reduce his participation in the proceeds of the...

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18 practice notes
  • Protective Cas. Ins. Co. v. Cook, No. 52094
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Missouri (US)
    • June 30, 1987
    ...Insurance Company under the uninsured motorist provisions of their insurance policy. 2 The Cooks' case is the subject of Cook v. Pedigo, 714 S.W.2d 949, 951 Susan Settle also filed suit in St. Francois County against the estate of Daryl for personal injuries she allegedly sustained as a res......
  • Krombach v. Mayflower Ins. Co., Ltd., No. 56657
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Missouri (US)
    • February 6, 1990
    ...to the present one. However, Mayflower contends that, in Bergholdt v. Farmers Ins. Co., 691 S.W.2d 357 (Mo.App.1985) and Cook v. Pedigo, 714 S.W.2d 949 (Mo.App.1986), we have defined the term "underinsured motor vehicle" or "motorist" so that Bolin cannot be considered to be an underinsured......
  • New Madrid County Reorganized School Dist. No. 1, Enlarged v. Continental Cas. Co., Nos. 89-1986
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (8th Circuit)
    • May 29, 1990
    ...statements outside the scope of the real inquiry' " (quoting Rauch v. Metz, 212 S.W. 353, 357 (Mo.1919) (en banc)); Cook v. Pedigo, 714 S.W.2d 949, 951 (Mo.App.1986) (same); Saveway Oil Co. v. Sears, Roebuck and Co., 560 S.W.2d 325, 328 (Mo.App.1977) The Missouri Court of Appeals made the s......
  • Maso v. Farmers Ins. Co., Case No. 4:14-CV-1885-CEJ
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 8th Circuit. United States District Court (Eastern District of Missouri)
    • January 27, 2016
    ...Mo. Rev. Stat. § 303.030 ); Geneser v. State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co. , 787 S.W.2d 288, 291 (Mo.Ct.App.1989) (clarifying Cook v. Pedigo , 714 S.W.2d 949, 952 (Mo.Ct.App.1986) ).Plaintiffs have now filed the instant renewed motion for leave to amend, to which they attached the motorcycle pol......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
18 cases
  • Protective Cas. Ins. Co. v. Cook, No. 52094
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Missouri (US)
    • June 30, 1987
    ...Insurance Company under the uninsured motorist provisions of their insurance policy. 2 The Cooks' case is the subject of Cook v. Pedigo, 714 S.W.2d 949, 951 Susan Settle also filed suit in St. Francois County against the estate of Daryl for personal injuries she allegedly sustained as a res......
  • Krombach v. Mayflower Ins. Co., Ltd., No. 56657
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Missouri (US)
    • February 6, 1990
    ...to the present one. However, Mayflower contends that, in Bergholdt v. Farmers Ins. Co., 691 S.W.2d 357 (Mo.App.1985) and Cook v. Pedigo, 714 S.W.2d 949 (Mo.App.1986), we have defined the term "underinsured motor vehicle" or "motorist" so that Bolin cannot be considered to be an underinsured......
  • New Madrid County Reorganized School Dist. No. 1, Enlarged v. Continental Cas. Co., Nos. 89-1986
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (8th Circuit)
    • May 29, 1990
    ...statements outside the scope of the real inquiry' " (quoting Rauch v. Metz, 212 S.W. 353, 357 (Mo.1919) (en banc)); Cook v. Pedigo, 714 S.W.2d 949, 951 (Mo.App.1986) (same); Saveway Oil Co. v. Sears, Roebuck and Co., 560 S.W.2d 325, 328 (Mo.App.1977) The Missouri Court of Appeals made the s......
  • Maso v. Farmers Ins. Co., Case No. 4:14-CV-1885-CEJ
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 8th Circuit. United States District Court (Eastern District of Missouri)
    • January 27, 2016
    ...Mo. Rev. Stat. § 303.030 ); Geneser v. State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co. , 787 S.W.2d 288, 291 (Mo.Ct.App.1989) (clarifying Cook v. Pedigo , 714 S.W.2d 949, 952 (Mo.Ct.App.1986) ).Plaintiffs have now filed the instant renewed motion for leave to amend, to which they attached the motorcycle pol......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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