Farmer's Ins. Co. of Idaho v. Brown

Decision Date22 January 1976
Docket NumberNo. 11946,11946
Citation544 P.2d 1150,97 Idaho 380
PartiesFARMER'S INSURANCE COMPANY OF IDAHO, a corporation, Plaintiff-Respondent, v. Leonard BROWN et al., Defendants-Appellants.
CourtIdaho Supreme Court

Iver J. Longeteig, of Runft & Longeteig, Boise, for defendants-appellants.

Karl Jeppesen, of Elam, Burke, Jeppesen, Evans & Boyed, Boise, for plaintiff-respondent.


Respondent, Farmer's Insurance Company of Idaho, brought this action seeking a declaratory judgment that its automobile liability insurance policy issued to appellants Leonard Brown and Helen Brown provides no coverage for a certain accident occurring February 1, 1974. The provision of the insurance policy which is at issue is the so-called 'omnibus clause,' which extends coverage of the policy to include the use by the insured of an automobile not owned by the insured, so long as the actual use is with the permission of the owner. 1

Following motions for summary judgment by both sides, the district court granted respondent's motion for summary judgment. The appellants appeal from that order and for the reasons stated below, we reverse and remand.

On December 23, 1973, the apellants Leonard and Helen Brown, and David Whitney, Helen Brown's son who lived with them in Boise, were visited by Dawnella Guernsey, a resident of Portland, Oregon. Dawnella is the daughter of Helen Brown and sister of David Whitney. Her father, Don F. Whitney, resides in Evanston, Wyoming.

During her stay in Boise, Dawnella decided to visit her father, Mr. Whitney, in Wyoming. Although Dawnella had driven to Boise in her own automobile, she decided to take the bus to Wyoming because of hazardous driving conditions. She left her car in Boise to be used if necessary or in an emergency.

During her absence the car was moved twice; once to make way for a street cleaner and once on February 1, 1974. On that date, David Whitney, her brother and a senior at Boise High School, asked his mother to use the car to drive his girl friend's mother to the bank. On his way to the Bank, David Whitney collided with and injured Michael Breshears, a pedestrian.

Although Dawnella had not let David use her car when she was in Boise because she was using it, she neither granted nor denied him permission to use it while she was gone.

The single issue is whether the district court erred in granting respondent's motion for summary judgment based upon the state of the record at the time.

Under I.R.C.P. 56(c) summary judgment is properly granted when 'the pleadings, depositions, and admissions on file, together with the affidavits, if any, show that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the moving party is entitled to a judgment as a matter of law.' In Petricevich v. Salmon River Canal Company, 92 Idaho 865, 452 P.2d 362 (1969), this Court stated that under I.R.C.P. 56(c) a motion for summary judgment is to be granted 'whenever on the basis of evidence before the court a directed verdict would be warranted or whenever reasonable men could not disagree as to the facts.' 92 Idaho at 871, 452 P.2d at 368. See also Straley v. Idaho Nuclear Corporation, 4 Idaho 917, 500 P.2d 218 (1972); Jephson v. Ambuel, 93 Idaho 790, 473 P.2d 932 (1970). In considering such evidence, it is well recognized that the facts are to be liberally construed in favor of the party opposing the motion and he is given the benefit of all favorable inferences which might be reasonably drawn from the evidence. Straley v. Idaho Nuclear Corporation, supra; Rawlings v. Layne & Bowler Pump Co., 93 Idaho 496, 465 P.2d 107 (1970). Moreover, the fact that both sides moved for summary judgment does not establish that there is no issue of fact. Eagle v. Louisiana & Southern Life Insurance Co., 464 F.2d 607 (10th Cir. 1972); McCown v. Humble Oil & Refining Co., 405 F.2d 596 (4th Cir. 1969), cert. denied, 395 U.S. 934, 89 S.Ct. 1996, 23 L.Ed.2d 449.

Appellants contend that on the basis of the affidavits submitted David Whitney drove his sister's car with her express or implied permission. They further contend that if it is found that David Whitney had no such permission, the evidence supports a finding that Helen Brown had express permission to allow any member of the family to use the car under limited circumstances 2 and that the car was being put to a use which served a 'purpose, benefit, or advantage' of Helen Brown.

We find that the above contentions raise genuine issues of material fact. Based on the sworn statements of Helen Brown and David Whitney reasonable men could differ as to whether permission had been given to only Helen Brown or to the...

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39 cases
  • Blake v. Cruz
    • United States
    • Idaho Supreme Court
    • September 18, 1984
    ...parties are to be given the benefit of all inferences which might reasonably be drawn from the evidence. Farmer's Insurance Company of Idaho v. Brown, 97 Idaho 380, 544 P.2d 1150 (1976). Therefore, we must assume that: (1) Mrs. Blake did have rubella at the time of her examination by Dr. Cr......
  • Clark v. International Harvester Co.
    • United States
    • Idaho Supreme Court
    • June 30, 1978
    ...liberal construction in favor of the non-moving party to be given the record on a motion for summary judgment, Farmers Ins. Co. v. Brown, 97 Idaho 380, 544 P.2d 1150 (1976), we hold that the issue was raised in the proceedings below and therefore is properly before this Court on appeal. Cf.......
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    • June 30, 1982
    ...that there is no material issue of fact. Casey v. Highlands Ins. Co., 100 Idaho 505, 600 P.2d 1387 (1979); Farmer's Ins. Co. of Idaho v. Brown, 97 Idaho 380, 544 P.2d 1150 (1976). Our rules do not contemplate the transformation of the court, sitting to hear a summary judgment motion, into t......
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    • November 15, 1990
    ...conclusions, a summary judgment must be denied. Kline v. Clinton, 103 Idaho 116, 645 P.2d 350 (1982); Farmers Ins. Co. of Idaho v. Brown, 97 Idaho 380, 544 P.2d 1150 (1976); Stewart v. Hood Corp., 95 Idaho 198, 506 P.2d 95 (1973); Lundy v. Hazen, 90 Idaho 323, 411 P.2d 768 Idaho Rules of Ci......
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