Gullett v. Brown

Decision Date16 December 1991
Docket NumberNo. 90-320,90-320
Citation307 Ark. 385,820 S.W.2d 457
PartiesTroy Allen GULLETT, Appellant, v. Cecily BROWN and Gallagher-Bassett Services, Inc. as Administrator of Self-Insurance Plan of Uninsured Motorists for Pulaski County, Arkansas, Appellees.
CourtArkansas Supreme Court

John Biscoe Bingham, No. Little Rock, for appellant.

James C. Baker, Jr., Walter A. Murray, Little Rock, for appellees.

HAYS, Justice.

By this appeal we are asked to hold that workers' compensation benefits are not the exclusive remedy of an employee injured in the course of his employment by an uninsured motorist where those benefits are provided by the employer's self-insurance. We decline that request and affirm the trial court.

In September, 1987 Troy Allen Gullett was injured in a motor vehicle collision. Gullett was a passenger in a vehicle belonging to his employer, Pulaski County, and being driven by another county employee. The other vehicle was driven by Cecily Brown. Gullett brought this action at law against Cecily Brown, Gallagher-Bassett Services, Inc., as administrator of a self-insurance plan of Pulaski County, and Jason Ruby and others as director and representatives of Metroplan Risk Management Association. The complaint alleges that Brown's negligence was the proximate cause of the accident, that Brown was uninsured and that at the time of the occurrence Pulaski County had in effect an agreement to provide uninsured motorist coverage on its vehicles through a self-insurance agreement administered by Gallagher-Bassett which coverage inured to Gullett's benefit. Gullett sought damages against the defendants in the sum of $100,000, costs and attorneys fees.

Cecily Brown generally denied the allegations of the complaint and the remaining defendants filed a motion to dismiss the complaint for lack of subject matter jurisdiction and for failure to state facts upon which relief could be granted. Ark.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6). The motion alleged that Pulaski County was self- insured for workers' compensation, that Gullett's injuries were incurred in the course of his employment, that Gullett had filed for and was receiving workers' compensation benefits and such benefits constitute an exclusive remedy under the Arkansas Workers' Compensation Act. The motion further alleged that Pulaski County is a self-insured for uninsured motorists.

In response, Gullett alleged that Pulaski County had purchased a plan of insurance through the Metroplan Risk Management Association and said uninsured motorist was reinsured through an insurance carrier and administered by Gallagher-Bassett. Gullett admitted his injuries arose from the scope of his employment but denied that workers' compensation was an exclusive remedy where the injured employee is a beneficiary of a policy of uninsured motorist coverage, citing The Travelers Insurance Co. v. National Farmers Union Property and Casualty Co., et al., 252 Ark. 624, 480 S.W.2d 585 (1972).

The circuit court entered an order finding that Cecily Brown was an uninsured motorist at the time of the accident, that Gullett had collected workers' compensation benefits under coverage maintained by Pulaski County through Metroplan Risk Management Association, that Pulaski County had in effect an agreement through the association "to provide uninsured motorists coverage for vehicles owned by Pulaski County and that said self-insurance was administered by Gallagher-Bassett Services, Inc." Upon those findings the complaint was dismissed as to all defendants but Cecily Brown. Subsequently, Gullett took a non-suit as to Cecily Brown and appealed from the order of dismissal.

Appellant relies entirely on the case of Travelers Insurance Co. v. National Farmers Union Property and Casualty Co., et al., supra. In Travelers, the employee, Calvin McCord, was killed when he was struck by an uninsured motorist. Travelers paid workers' compensation to McCord's dependents and sought subrogation against the proceeds recovered by McCord's estate under McCord's uninsured motorists coverage through National Farmers Union Property and Casualty, a policy bought and paid for by McCord. We affirme...

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  • Matarese v. N.H. Mun. Ass'n Prop.-Liab. Ins. Trust, Inc.
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    • New Hampshire Supreme Court
    • January 11, 2002
    ...1440, 1442–43 (D.Kan.1991) ; Wisman v. Rhodes & Shamblin Stone, Inc. , 191 W.Va. 542, 447 S.E.2d 5, 8–9 (1994) ; Gullett v. Brown , 307 Ark. 385, 820 S.W.2d 457, 457 (1991) ; State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co. v. Royston , 72 Haw. 338, 817 P.2d 118, 121–22 (1991) ; State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co......
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    ...219, 221 (S.C.1992); Ryder Truck Lines, Inc. v. Maiorano, 44 N.Y.2d 364, 405 N.Y.S.2d 666, 376 N.E.2d 1311 (1978); cf. Gullet v. Brown, 307 Ark. 385, 820 S.W.2d 457 (1991); Bouley v. City of Norwich, 222 Conn. 744, 610 A.2d 1245 (1992); Berger v. H.P. Hood, Inc., 416 Mass. 652, 624 N.E.2d 9......
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    ...592 A.2d 1076 (Me.1991) (same); Montedoro v. City of Asbury Park, 174 N.J.Super. 305, 416 A.2d 433 (1980); cf. Gullett v. Brown, 307 Ark. 385, 820 S.W.2d 457 (1991) (recovery of uninsured motorist benefits from a self-insured employer barred by exclusivity principle). It is noteworthy that ......
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    • New Hampshire Supreme Court
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    ...1440, 1442-43 (D.Kan.1991); Wisman v. Rhodes & Shamblin Stone, Inc., 191 W.Va. 542, 447 S.E.2d 5, 8-9 (1994); Gullett v. Brown, 307 Ark. 385, 820 S.W.2d 457, 457 (1991); State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co. v. Royston, 72 Haw. 338, 817 P.2d 118, 121-22 (1991); State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co. v. We......
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