Mazon v. Farmers Ins. Exchange

Decision Date08 December 1971
Docket NumberNo. 10295--PR,10295--PR
Citation107 Ariz. 601,491 P.2d 455
PartiesRamon MAZON et ux., Appellants, v. FARMERS INSURANCE EXCHANGE, a corporation, Appellee.
CourtArizona Supreme Court

Estes, Browning & Zlaket, by Donald Estes, Tucson, for appellants.

Chandler, Tullar, Udall & Richmond, by D. B. Udall, Tucson, for appellee.

LOCKWOOD, Justice:

The plaintiff, appellant here, Ramon Mazon, was injured while driving his automobile when a stone, thrown from an unidentified car, struck him in the eye, causing loss of sight. The car from which the stone was thrown sped away from the scene and neither the identity of the driver or the owner of the car, was ever learned, nor did plaintiff know by whom the stone was thrown. Proper notices of the occurrence were given to the police, and to appellant's insurance company, Farmers Insurance Exchange, appellee.

Mazon sought recovery for his injury under the uninsured motorist coverage offered by Farmers. Farmers denied the claim and Mazon brought suit for a declaratory judgment, to determine his coverage under the policy. The lower court denied recovery under the policy and the Court of Appeals reversed. We granted review. Decision of the Court of Appeals, 13 Ariz.App. 298, 475 P.2d 957 (1970), vacated.

Appellant Mazon presents two questions as basic to his position. They are:

'1. Are appellants entitled to uninsured motorist coverage from the appellee in the absence of physical contact between appellant's vehicle and an uninsured (unknown hit and run) vehicle?

'2. Did the injury to the appellant, Ramon Mazon, arise out of the ownership, maintenance or use of the uninsured motor vehicle?'

Pursuant to statutory obligation 1 Farmers issued to appellant an automobile liability insurance policy, the pertinent portion of which provides under 'Coverage C' that Farmers will:

'* * * pay all sums which the insured or his legal representative shall be legally entitled to recover as damages, from the owner or operator of an uninsured motor vehicle because of bodily injury sustained by the insured, caused by accident, and arising out of the Ownership, maintenance or use of such uninsured motor vehicle * * *.' (Emphasis supplied.)

The insurance policy further includes 'a hit-and-run motor vehicle' as an uninsured motor vehicle. 2

Since we are of the opinion that the case may be disposed of by the answer to appellant's second question, we need not discuss whether physical contact by an uninsured motorist's vehicle is or is not required, nor do we feel it necessary to determine whether a 'hit-and-run' vehicle is within the purview of § 20--259.01.

The parties stipulated in the trial court as to certain facts. We quote:

'2. That Ramon Mazon was injured when hit in the eye by a rock thrown by an occupant or driver of an unknown vehicle * * *.'

The trial court held that the policy did not afford coverage to the appellant as claimed, and in a memorandum of law denying appellant's motion for judgment N.O.V., we think properly stated:

'The crucial question seems to be whether or not the injuries sustained here were the result of the use, maintenance, or ownership of the automobile in question * * *.'

The court further cited Brenner v. Aetna Insurance Company, 8 Ariz.App. 272, 445 P.2d 474 (1968), in asserting that there must be a causal relationship or connection existing between an accident or injury and 'the ownership, maintenance, or use' of a vehicle in order to bring the accident or injury within the meaning of that clause, and that where such causal connection or relationship is absent, coverage is denied. Speziale v. Kohnke, 194 So.2d 485 (La.App.1967).

We are in agreement with the trial court's conclusion. Under the stipulated facts, we can find no causal relationship between an injury resulting from a stone thrown by an unknown person from an...

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26 cases
  • Weingarten v. Allstate Ins. Co.
    • United States
    • Connecticut Supreme Court
    • September 16, 1975
    ...is that it prevents fraud. Mazon v. Farmers Insurance Exchange, 13 Ariz.App. 298, 300, 475 P.2d 957, vacated on other grounds, 107 Ariz. 601, 491 P.2d 455; annot., 25 A.L.R.3d 1299. Indirect physical contact, however, has been found to satisfy the requirement. Latham v. Mountain States Mutu......
  • Wausau Underwriters Ins. Co. v. Howser
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — District of South Carolina
    • January 8, 1990
    ...Co. v. Melton, 357 F.Supp. 416 (D.S.C.1972); Aetna Casualty and Surety Co. v. Head, 240 So.2d 280 (Miss.1970). 10 Mazon v. Farmers Ins. Exchange, 107 Ariz. 601, 491 P.2d 455 (banc 1971), vacating opinion reported in 13 Ariz.App. 298, 475 P.2d 957 11 Farm Bureau Mutual Ins. Co., Inc. v. Evan......
  • United Services Auto. Ass'n v. Morgan
    • United States
    • Kansas Court of Appeals
    • May 23, 1997
    ...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); Speziale v. Kohnke, 194 So.2d 485 (La.App.1967); National Family Ins. Co. v. Boyer, 269 N.W.2d 10 (Minn.1978); 7 Am.Ju......
  • Hamidian v. State Farm Fire & Cas. Co., 67266
    • United States
    • Kansas Supreme Court
    • May 22, 1992
    ...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); Speziale v. Kohnke, 194 So.2d 485 (La.App.1967); National Family Ins. Co. v. Boyer, 269 N.W.2d 10 (Minn.1978); 7 Am.Ju......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
1 books & journal articles
  • 6.13 Drive-by Shootings
    • United States
    • State Bar of Arizona Liability Insurance Law Chapter 6 Automobile Policies (Sections 6.1 to 6.19)
    • Invalid date
    ...without the use of the vehicle and, therefore, there is no coverage for the incident. In Mazon v. Farmers Insurance Exchange, 107 Ariz. 601, 491 P.2d 455 (1972), the issue before the court was whether an uninsured motorist policy provided coverage for injuries sustained when a stone was thr......

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