Nationwide Mutual Ins., Co. v. Miller

Decision Date02 May 1985
Citation488 N.Y.S.2d 497,111 A.D.2d 438
PartiesIn the Matter of the Arbitration between NATIONWIDE MUTUAL INSURANCE COMPANY, Respondent, and Raymond G. MILLER et al., Appellants.
CourtNew York Supreme Court — Appellate Division

Parisi, De Lorenzo, Gordon, Pasquariello & Weiskopf, Schenectady (Richard H. Weiskopf, Schenectady, of counsel), for appellants.

Friedman, Maksail, Hirschen & Miller, Schenectady (Wayne M. Fielder, Utica, of counsel), for respondent.


LEVINE, Justice.

Appeal from an order of the Supreme Court at Special Term, entered July 5, 1984 in Schenectady County, which granted petitioner's application pursuant to CPLR 7511 to vacate an arbitration award.

On September 19, 1978, respondents, husband and wife, were injured in an automobile accident involving an uninsured motorist. Both respondents held separate automobile liability policies with petitioner. The parties subsequently proceeded to arbitration, where respondents submitted demands against petitioner, pursuant to the uninsured motorist endorsement in their policies, in the amount of "$40,000.00 or maximum coverage on both policies, whichever is greater". The arbitrator ultimately awarded respondent Arlene Miller $20,000 and respondent Raymond Miller $16,500. Thereafter, this award was vacated by Special Term on the ground that the arbitrator had exceeded his authority in awarding respondents in excess of the $10,000 per person and $20,000 per accident recovery limits set forth in their policies and mandated by Insurance Law § 3420(f)(1). 124 Misc.2d 561, 476 N.Y.S.2d 761. The matter was, accordingly, remitted to the arbitrator for a rehearing on the issue of damages. This appeal by respondents ensued.

It is respondents' contention that, because they hold two separate policies, both of which contain limits of $10,000 per injured person and $20,000 per occurrence under the uninsured motorist provisions, they should be permitted to stack this coverage, giving them a combined limit of $20,000 per person and $40,000 per occurrence.

It is uncontested, however, that Insurance Law § 3420(f)(1) limits the recovery of an insured under the uninsured motorist endorsement to $10,000 per person and $20,000 per occurrence (see 30 NY Jur Insurance § 1244, at 686 [1963] ). Further, the relevant case law has consistently prohibited "stacking" of such insurance coverage in similar situations (Sisson v. Travelers Ins. Co., 94 A.D.2d 953, 464 N.Y.S.2d 77; Matter of Spychalski [Continental Ins. Cos.], 88 Misc.2d 129, 386 N.Y.S.2d 998, revd. on other grounds 58 A.D.2d 193, 396 N.Y.S.2d 533, affd. 45 N.Y.2d 847, 410 N.Y.S.2d 65, 382 N.E.2d 765). The prohibition against stacking of coverage makes particular sense in regard to the situation presented by this case. While respondents have two policies, there has only been one "occurrence". Accordingly, the $20,000 limitation is clearly applicable here (cf. Matter of Allstate Ins. Co....

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9 cases
  • Morris v. Progressive Cas. Ins. Co., Inc., 86 Civ. 9605 (CLB).
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    • U.S. District Court — Southern District of New York
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  • Rifkin v. State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co.
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    ... ... Irene RIFKIN, Leonard Rifkin and Sharon Rifkin, Plaintiffs, ... STATE FARM MUTUAL AUTOMOBILE INSURANCE COMPANY, Defendant ... Supreme Court, Orange County ... Jan. 13, 1993 ...         Gerard T. Grogan, P.C., Goshen, for defendant ...         HOWARD MILLER, Justice ...         IT IS ORDERED THAT the motion for summary judgment is denied, the ...         In 1985 the Third Department in Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company v. Miller, 111 A.D.2d 438, 488 N.Y.S.2d 497, refused to allow stacking of ... ...
  • Royal Ins. Co. of America v. Vinciguerra
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    • November 16, 1990
    ... ... & Liab. Ins. Co. v. Villarrubia, 119 A.D.2d 576, 500 N.Y.S.2d 744; Matter of Nationwide Mut. Ins. Co. [Miller], 111 A.D.2d 438, 488 N.Y.S.2d 497). The insured ... has not claimed or ... ...
  • Michigan Mut. Ins. Co.(Miller), Matter of
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    • New York Supreme Court — Appellate Division
    • August 12, 1991
    ...573 N.Y.S.2d 305 ... 170 A.D.2d 102 ... In the Matter of the Arbitration between MICHIGAN MUTUAL ... INSURANCE COMPANY, Appellant, and ... Vernon MILLER, Respondent ... Supreme Court, Appellate Division, ... Second Department ... Aug. 12, 1991 ... where one person is injured in an accident and $20,000 where two or more persons sustain injuries in any one accident (see Matter of Nationwide Mut. Ins. Co. [Miller], 111 A.D.2d 438, 439, 488 N.Y.S.2d 497; cf., Morris v. Progressive Cas. Ins. Co., 662 F.Supp. 1489, 1493-1495; Matter of ... ...
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