Government Employees Insurance Company v. Melton, Civ. A. No. 71-1200.

CourtUnited States District Courts. 4th Circuit. United States District Court of South Carolina
Writing for the CourtJoseph R. Young, of Young, Clement & Rivers, Charleston, S. C., for plaintiff
Citation357 F. Supp. 416
PartiesGOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES INSURANCE COMPANY, Plaintiff, v. Sidney P. MELTON, a minor under the age of twenty-one (21), et al., Defendants.
Decision Date13 July 1972
Docket NumberCiv. A. No. 71-1200.

357 F. Supp. 416

GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES INSURANCE COMPANY, Plaintiff,
v.
Sidney P. MELTON, a minor under the age of twenty-one (21), et al., Defendants.

Civ. A. No. 71-1200.

United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Charleston Division.

July 13, 1972.


Joseph R. Young, of Young, Clement & Rivers, Charleston, S. C., for plaintiff.

James H. Moss, of Moss, Carter & Branton, Beaufort, S. C., for defendants.

ORDER

HEMPHILL, Disrtict Judge.

Plaintiff commenced this declaratory judgment action to have this court interpret insurance coverage. The facts reveal that plaintiff wrote an automobile insurance policy for Fred McCormick which was in effect on the date of an accident which occurred September 5, 1971. The policy has standard wording to pay bodily injuries or property damage

arising out of the ownership, maintenance or use of the owned automobile
357 F. Supp. 417
or any non-owned automobile, and the company shall defend any suit alleging such bodily injury or property damage and seeking damages which are payable under the terms of this policy, even if any of the allegations of the suit are groundless, false or fraudulent; but the company may make such investigation and settlement of any claim or suit as it deems expedient.
The policy defines persons insured under (a):
(1) the named insured and any resident of the same household,
(2) any other person using such automobile with the permission of the named insured, provided his actual operation or (if he is not operating) his other actual use thereof is within the scope of such permission.

The alleged accident took place on September 5, 1971, and it is undisputed that Fred McCormick gave permission to his son, Joseph McCormick, to operate his insured pick-up truck. Joseph McCormick along with Charles Abner, Glen Polite, Lonnie Polite, Junior Jones, Wilbur Scantling, David Lee Jenkins and George Majors were using the truck returning from a dance at Frogmore, South Carolina, in Beaufort County. They had stopped at a filling station shortly before the incident. The complaint of Sidney P. Melton who asks One Hundred Thousand and No/100 ($100,000.00) Dollars damages in the Court of Common Pleas for Beaufort County alleges that one or more of the occupants in the rear of the pick-up truck threw a Coca-Cola or other soft drink bottle or bottles out of the rear and struck Sidney P. Melton and Robert Corbett. Government Employees Insurance Company has been tendered the defense of numerous defendants under the automobile policy and is handling these defenses under a reservation of rights. Apparently insured has requested that Government Employees Insurance Company be responsible for any judgments rendered. The complaint in the state court alleges that the bottles were thrown from the rear of the vehicle and not from the cab. As there are numerous defendants, four of whom pled guilty to assault and each would be an insured, the amount involved greatly exceeds Ten Thousand and No/100 ($10,000.00) Dollars, the single limits of the policy. Government Employees Insurance Company is a corporation organized and existing under the laws of the District of Columbia. All of the defendants are residents of Beaufort County and there is a diversity of citizenship between the plaintiff and all parties defendant. Plaintiff brings this action under Section 2201, 28 U.S.C.A., which states:

In a case of actual controversy within its jurisdiction, except with respect to Federal taxes, any court of the United States, upon the filing of an appropriate pleading, may declare the rights and other legal relations of any interested party seeking such declaration, whether or not further relief is or could be sought. Any such declaration shall have the force and effect of a final judgment or decree and shall be reviewable as such.

The suit in the Court of Common Pleas for Beaufort County would only decide the question of liability1 and

357 F. Supp. 418
could not under the pleadings themselves, which neglect to raise the issue of coverage, decide such issue. The Court has said in Manhattan Fire...

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17 practice notes
  • Wausau Underwriters Ins. Co. v. Howser, Civ. A. No. 88-2942.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 4th Circuit. United States District Court of South Carolina
    • January 8, 1990
    ...decisions which, applying South Carolina law, give the phrase a narrower construction.18 In Government Employees Ins. Co. v. Melton, 357 F.Supp. 416 (D.S.C.1972), the court held that an injury resulting from a bottle thrown from a pickup truck did not arise out of the use of the truck for t......
  • United Services Auto. Ass'n v. Morgan, No. 76357
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Kansas
    • May 23, 1997
    ...Mutual Insurance Company v. Kallen, 376 F.2d 360 (6th Cir.1967); Government Employees Insurance Company v. [23 Kan.App.2d 995] Melton, 357 F.Supp. 416 (D.S.C.1972), aff'd in unpublished opinion, 473 F.2d 909 (1973); Mazon v. Farmers Insurance Exchange, 107 Ariz. 601, 491 P.2d 455 (1972); Sp......
  • Hamidian v. State Farm Fire & Cas. Co., No. 67266
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Kansas
    • May 22, 1992
    ...E.g., Richland Knox Mutual Insurance Company v. Kallen, 376 F.2d 360 (6th Cir.1967); Government Employees Insurance Company v. Melton, 357 F.Supp. 416 (D.S.C.1972), aff'd in unpublished opinion, 473 F.2d 909 (1973); Mazon v. Farmers Insurance Exchange, 107 Ariz. 601, 491 P.2d 455 (1972); Sp......
  • State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co. v. Davis, No. 89-56044
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (9th Circuit)
    • July 1, 1991
    ...relationship between the injury and the use of the vehicle than California requires. See, e.g., Government Employees Ins. Co. v. Melton, 357 F.Supp. 416 (D.S.C.1972), aff'd, 473 F.2d 909 (4th Cir.1973); Wausau Underwriters Ins. Co. v. Howser, 727 F.Supp. 999 (D.S.C.1990) (recognizing that C......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
17 cases
  • Wausau Underwriters Ins. Co. v. Howser, Civ. A. No. 88-2942.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 4th Circuit. United States District Court of South Carolina
    • January 8, 1990
    ...decisions which, applying South Carolina law, give the phrase a narrower construction.18 In Government Employees Ins. Co. v. Melton, 357 F.Supp. 416 (D.S.C.1972), the court held that an injury resulting from a bottle thrown from a pickup truck did not arise out of the use of the truck for t......
  • United Services Auto. Ass'n v. Morgan, No. 76357
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Kansas
    • May 23, 1997
    ...Mutual Insurance Company v. Kallen, 376 F.2d 360 (6th Cir.1967); Government Employees Insurance Company v. [23 Kan.App.2d 995] Melton, 357 F.Supp. 416 (D.S.C.1972), aff'd in unpublished opinion, 473 F.2d 909 (1973); Mazon v. Farmers Insurance Exchange, 107 Ariz. 601, 491 P.2d 455 (1972); Sp......
  • Hamidian v. State Farm Fire & Cas. Co., No. 67266
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Kansas
    • May 22, 1992
    ...E.g., Richland Knox Mutual Insurance Company v. Kallen, 376 F.2d 360 (6th Cir.1967); Government Employees Insurance Company v. Melton, 357 F.Supp. 416 (D.S.C.1972), aff'd in unpublished opinion, 473 F.2d 909 (1973); Mazon v. Farmers Insurance Exchange, 107 Ariz. 601, 491 P.2d 455 (1972); Sp......
  • State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co. v. Davis, No. 89-56044
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (9th Circuit)
    • July 1, 1991
    ...relationship between the injury and the use of the vehicle than California requires. See, e.g., Government Employees Ins. Co. v. Melton, 357 F.Supp. 416 (D.S.C.1972), aff'd, 473 F.2d 909 (4th Cir.1973); Wausau Underwriters Ins. Co. v. Howser, 727 F.Supp. 999 (D.S.C.1990) (recognizing that C......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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