Surbaugh v. Stonewall Cas. Co., No. 14792

CourtSupreme Court of West Virginia
Writing for the CourtPER CURIAM
Citation283 S.E.2d 859,168 W.Va. 208
PartiesChester E. SURBAUGH v. STONEWALL CASUALTY COMPANY.
Docket NumberNo. 14792
Decision Date03 November 1981

Page 859

283 S.E.2d 859
168 W.Va. 208
Chester E. SURBAUGH
v.
STONEWALL CASUALTY COMPANY.
No. 14792.
Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia.
Nov. 3, 1981.

Page 860

Syllabus by the Court

1. "Whenever the language of an insurance policy provision is reasonably susceptible of two different meanings or is of such doubtful meaning that reasonable minds might be uncertain or disagree as to its meaning, it is ambiguous." Syllabus point 1, Prete v. Merchants Property Ins. Co. of Ind., W.Va., 223 S.E.2d 441 (1976).

2. "Ambiguous and irreconcilable provisions of an insurance policy should be construed strictly against the insurer and liberally in favor of the insured, although such construction should not be unreasonably applied to contravene the object and plain intent of [168 W.Va. 209] the parties." Syllabus point 2, Marson Coal Co. v. Ins. Co. of State of Pa., W.Va., 210 S.E.2d 747 (1974).

Lynch, Mann & Knapp and G. Berk Lynch, Beckley, for appellant.

Ragland & Ragland and Ned H. Ragland, Jr., Beckley, for appellee.

PER CURIAM:

This is an appeal by the Stonewall Casualty Company from an order of the Circuit Court of Raleigh County denying the company's motion for a new trial in an automobile accident case. The only question presented is whether the company's automobile insurance policy issued to Chester E. Surbaugh was in effect at 3:30 p. m. on May 8, 1978, when Mr. Surbaugh was involved in an automobile accident. The circuit court construed the policy and found that it was in effect at the time of the accident. We have examined the record, and we have concluded that the court's decision was proper. We, therefore, affirm the judgment of the circuit court.

In 1978, the Stonewall Casualty Company issued a property damage and automobile insurance policy to Chester E. Surbaugh. The front page of the policy indicated that the policy was to be in effect from 2/8/78 to 5/8/78. The declarations page of the policy stated: "Policy Period: 12:01 A.M. STANDARD TIME AT THE ADDRESS OF THE NAMED INSURED AS STATED HEREIN From: 2/8/78 To: 5/8/78."

Mr. Surbaugh was involved in an automobile accident at approximately 3:30 p. m. on May 8, 1978. At the time, the insurance premium had been paid for the initial period covered by the policy, but not for any period thereafter.

In his action for damages resulting from the accident, Mr. Surbaugh moved for summary judgment on the issue [168 W.Va. 210] of liability. The trial court granted the motion and...

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14 practice notes
  • Grand China Buffett & Grill, Inc. v. State Auto Prop. & Cas. Co., Civil Action No. 1:16CV159
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 4th Circuit. Northern District of West Virginia
    • May 16, 2017
    ...Ins. Co. v. Ashley, 37 F.3d 1492, at *2 (4th Cir. 1994) (unpublished table decision) (quoting Syl. Pt. 1, Surbaugh v. Stonewall Cas. Co., 168 W.Va. 208, 283 S.E.2d 859, 860 (1981) ). Courts should resolve any ambiguity in favor of the insured. See Jenkins v. State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co., ......
  • Cannelton Industries, Inc. v. Aetna Cas. & Sur. Co. of America, No. 22015
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of West Virginia
    • December 8, 1994
    ...Shamblin v. Nationwide Mut. Ins. Co., 175 W.Va. 337, 340, 332 S.E.2d 639, 642 (1985); Syllabus Point 2, Surbaugh v. Stonewall Cas. Co., 168 W.Va. 208, 283 S.E.2d 859 In sum, after reviewing all the relevant private and public interests of the forum non Page 18 [194 W.Va. 203] conveniens doc......
  • Shamblin v. Nationwide Mut. Ins. Co., No. 16399
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of West Virginia
    • July 10, 1985
    ...might be uncertain or disagree as to its meaning, it is ambiguous.' " Syl. pt. 1, Surbaugh v. Stonewall Casualty Co., 171 W. Va. 390, 283 S.E.2d 859 (1981), quoting syl. pt. 1, Prete v. Merchants Property Insurance Co., 159 W.Va. 508, 223 S.E.2d 441 2. " 'Where provisions in an insurance po......
  • Property v. Bowles Rice, LLP, CIVIL ACTION NO. 1:18CV29
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 4th Circuit. Northern District of West Virginia
    • July 31, 2018
    ...Ins. Co. v. Ashley, 37 F.3d 1492, at *2 (4th Cir. 1994) (unpublished table decision) (quoting Syl. Pt. 1, Surbaugh v. Stonewall Cas. Co., 283 S.E.2d 859, 860 (W. Va. 1981)). Courts should resolve any ambiguity in favor of the insured. See Jenkins v. State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co., 632 S.E.2......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
14 cases
  • Grand China Buffett & Grill, Inc. v. State Auto Prop. & Cas. Co., Civil Action No. 1:16CV159
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 4th Circuit. Northern District of West Virginia
    • May 16, 2017
    ...Ins. Co. v. Ashley, 37 F.3d 1492, at *2 (4th Cir. 1994) (unpublished table decision) (quoting Syl. Pt. 1, Surbaugh v. Stonewall Cas. Co., 168 W.Va. 208, 283 S.E.2d 859, 860 (1981) ). Courts should resolve any ambiguity in favor of the insured. See Jenkins v. State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co., ......
  • Cannelton Industries, Inc. v. Aetna Cas. & Sur. Co. of America, No. 22015
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of West Virginia
    • December 8, 1994
    ...Shamblin v. Nationwide Mut. Ins. Co., 175 W.Va. 337, 340, 332 S.E.2d 639, 642 (1985); Syllabus Point 2, Surbaugh v. Stonewall Cas. Co., 168 W.Va. 208, 283 S.E.2d 859 In sum, after reviewing all the relevant private and public interests of the forum non Page 18 [194 W.Va. 203] conveniens doc......
  • Shamblin v. Nationwide Mut. Ins. Co., No. 16399
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of West Virginia
    • July 10, 1985
    ...might be uncertain or disagree as to its meaning, it is ambiguous.' " Syl. pt. 1, Surbaugh v. Stonewall Casualty Co., 171 W. Va. 390, 283 S.E.2d 859 (1981), quoting syl. pt. 1, Prete v. Merchants Property Insurance Co., 159 W.Va. 508, 223 S.E.2d 441 2. " 'Where provisions in an insurance po......
  • Property v. Bowles Rice, LLP, CIVIL ACTION NO. 1:18CV29
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 4th Circuit. Northern District of West Virginia
    • July 31, 2018
    ...Ins. Co. v. Ashley, 37 F.3d 1492, at *2 (4th Cir. 1994) (unpublished table decision) (quoting Syl. Pt. 1, Surbaugh v. Stonewall Cas. Co., 283 S.E.2d 859, 860 (W. Va. 1981)). Courts should resolve any ambiguity in favor of the insured. See Jenkins v. State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co., 632 S.E.2......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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