Thompson v. Parker, 61941.

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Missouri
Citation608 S.W.2d 415
Docket NumberNo. 61941.,61941.
PartiesSusan B. THOMPSON and Hazel M. Thompson, Plaintiffs-Appellants, v. Alva Jess PARKER and Automobile Club Inter-Insurance Exchange, Defendants-Respondents.
Decision Date15 December 1980

James T. Cook and Michael W. Manners, Paden, Welch, Martin, Albano & Graeff, P. C., Independence, for plaintiffs-appellants.

Gordon R. Gaebler and Charles R. Svoboda, Svoboda & Gaebler, P. C., Kansas City, for defendants-respondents.


Susan and Hazel Thompson brought suit against the Automobile Club Inter-Insurance Exchange (Auto Club) under the uninsured motorist provisions of an insurance policy on the automobile owned by Hazel. Their claim arose from a single vehicle accident occurring when the car was driven by defendant Alva Parker. The trial court sustained a motion for summary judgment, concluding that counts III and IV,1 addressed to defendant Auto Club, failed to state a cause of action. The appeal, first considered by Western District of the Court of Appeals, was transferred after opinion that we might determine the effect of § 379.203, RSMo 1978, Missouri's "uninsured motorist" statute, in the context of the facts presented here. Section 379.203, RSMo 1978, requires that liability insurance covering liability arising from ownership of a motor vehicle must provide by its terms coverage for the protection of insureds who suffer personal injury by owners or operators of uninsured motor vehicles.

In this review, the parties against whom summary judgment was entered must be accorded every favorable intendment of the record. Allen v. St. Luke's Hospital of Kansas City, 532 S.W.2d 505 (Mo.App.1975), appeal dismissed, cert. denied, 429 U.S. 804, 97 S.Ct. 37, 50 L.Ed.2d 65 (1976).

The automobile in question, owned by Hazel Thompson, was insured by respondent Auto Club under a policy providing uninsured motorist coverage mandated by § 379.203. While driving the automobile with the owner's permission, defendant Alva Parker lost control and struck an embankment causing the injuries alleged to Hazel Thompson and Susan her daughter, who rode as guests in the car. By their amended petition the Thompsons stated that the policy named plaintiffs as insureds2 and afforded them coverage under its uninsured motorist provision, that the automobile operated by Parker was an "insured automobile" and that the Auto Club had denied coverage to the plaintiffs under the liability provisions of the policy,3 and hence, Parker was an uninsured driver. It was also alleged that plaintiffs had complied with all the policy's terms, sustained damages as a result of their injuries and that the Auto Club was liable to them under the policy's uninsured motorists provisions.

Plaintiffs first contend the trial court erred granting summary judgment "because the court misinterpreted the language of said respondent's policy relating to uninsured motorist coverage" and because "by its plain terms the policy defines an `uninsured automobile' as one with respect to which the liability insurer denies coverage so that the uninsured motorist coverage was operative." Further, "any language that tends to exclude coverage under the uninsured motorist coverage in respondent's policy is ambiguous and should be construed against respondent."

We have compared the terms of the insurance contract in question with those examined in the consolidated cases of Betty Harrison v. MFA Mutual Insurance Company and Kathy Pridgen v. MFA Mutual Insurance Company, recently decided by this Court, reported 607 S.W.2d 137, and find the pertinent contract provisions considered in Harrison and Pridgen, the same in essence as those at bar. Also the arguments here as to interpretation of the contract's terms approximate those of plaintiffs in Harrison and Pridgen and the authorities cited here were discussed and their significance considered by this Court in those consolidated cases. While plaintiffs with much justification assert that the language of the insurance contract is not without ambiguities and that such ambiguities are to be construed against the insurer, Reese v. Preferred Risk Mutual Ins. Co., 457 S.W.2d 205 (Mo.App.1970), similar arguments were leveled at relevant portions of the policy provisions in Harrison and Pridgen, and the holdings there appear dispositive of the issue now before us. We hold that the policy's terms considered in the light of Harrison are not so ambiguous as to permit a conclusion that the exclusion of an insured vehicle from application of the uninsured...

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10 cases
  • Rigby Corp. v. Boatmen's Bank and Trust Co., WD
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Missouri (US)
    • 24 Junio 1986
    ...summary judgment, the party against whom the order was entered is accorded every favorable intendment of the record. Thompson v. Parker, 608 S.W.2d 415, 416 (Mo. banc 1980). We recite the evidence relevant to opinion conformably to that rule of Rigby was a printer and lithographer of qualit......
  • Orscheln Bros. Truck Lines, Inc. v. Ferguson Mfg., Inc., WD
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Missouri (US)
    • 26 Junio 1990
    ...We review the entire record in a light most favorable to the party against whom summary judgment is entered. Thompson v. Parker, 608 S.W.2d 415, 416 (Mo. banc Page 528 I. The primary issue in this case focuses on the allocation of liability for freight charges under the terms of a uniform b......
  • Eaton v. State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co., 18085
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Missouri (US)
    • 11 Febrero 1993
    ...might consider desirable but which is not otherwise permissible under the policy or the law. To the same effect is Thompson v. Parker, 608 S.W.2d 415 (Mo.banc 1980), where the Supreme Court again followed Harrison and upheld similar policy language. We likewise hold that the pertinent polic......
  • City of St. Joseph v. Kaw Valley Tunneling, Inc., WD
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Missouri (US)
    • 11 Octubre 1983 the party against whom the motion was filed and to accord such party every favorable intendment of the record. Thompson v. Parker, 608 S.W.2d 415 (Mo.1980); Perkins v. Schicker, 641 S.W.2d 432, 433 (Mo.App.1982). Doing so, we consider the following facts from the In the underlying action......
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