FROM THE FIFTEENTH JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT PARISH OF
LAFAYETTE, NO. C-20144241 HONORABLE JULES DAVIS EDWARDS,
I. Siegel Michael E. Hill Tara E. Clement Gieger, Laborde
& Laperouse, LLC COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANT/APPELLANT:
National Union Fire Insurance Co. of Pittsburgh, PA
Lomax Jordan, Jr. Victor R. A. Ashy COUNSEL FOR
PLAINTIFF/APPELLEE: Aaron Allen Stall
composed of Marc J. Amy, Elizabeth A. Pickett, Shannon J.
Gremillion, John E. Conery, and Candyce G. Perret, Judges.
E. CONERY JUDGE.
AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
Stall, an employee of CVS Caremark Corporation, and Gustavo
Garcia-Jimenez were involved in a two-vehicle accident on
January 1, 2014. Mr. Stall was operating a vehicle provided
by CVS. National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh,
Pennsylvania issued a business auto policy to CVS that
covered the vehicle and its employee/driver, Mr. Stall. Mr.
Stall filed suit against Mr. Garcia-Jimenez and his alleged
insurer, Mercury Insurance Company of Florida. He also sued
National Union, among others, alleging that Mr.
Garcia-Jimenez was at fault, was uninsured or underinsured,
and National Union's uninsured/underinsured policy
provided coverage for the accident. National Union denied
coverage, claiming the policy issued to CVS insuring the CVS
vehicle Mr. Stall was driving contained a proper waiver of
uninsured or underinsured (UM) coverage.
Stall filed a motion for partial summary judgment, alleging
that the UM waiver produced by National Union in discovery
was defective. However, there was no dispute that the waiver
was executed on a form provided by the Louisiana Department
of Insurance and signed by "David Huntley" in the
space provided for the named insured or
representative. Mr. Huntley's printed, handwritten name
also appears on the form in the proper space. It is dated
December 19, 2012. Mr. Huntley's initials appear in the
blank waiving UM coverage, all in compliance with the form
prepared by the Louisiana Department of Insurance for such
evidence presented in connection with the hearing on the
motion for partial summary judgment on the issue of the
validity of the UM waiver showed that the policy for which
the UM waiver was purportedly executed on December 19, 2012,
was in effect from January 1, 2013, through January 1, 2014,
at 12:01 a.m. The accident at issue occurred at 1:29 a.m. on
January 1, 2014, after that policy had expired. The policy
was timely renewed before the accident, and the new policy
was effective January 1, 2014 through January 1, 2015, at
12:01 a.m., and issued by AIG/National Union. However, a UM
waiver for the renewal policy was not executed until February
21, 2014, several weeks after the accident at issue herein,
and hence, on its face, the UM waiver attached to that policy
was signed too late to be effective. National Union claims
that since the 2014/2015 policy was a renewal, the UM waiver
executed on December 19, 2012 for the 2013/2014 policy year
was still binding pursuant to specific statutory law so
the hearing on Mr. Stall's motion for partial summary
judgment, the trial court found that the UM waiver was not
valid. In written reasons, the trial court stated:
The Court granted the Motion for Partial Summary Judgment
filed on behalf of Aaron Stall and held that the waiver of
uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage executed by David
Huntly [sic] as legal representative to CVS on December 19,
2012, did not clearly and unmistakably waive
uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage under the policy
issued. Accordingly, the Court held that the waiver was
invalid and inapplicable to preclude uninsured/underinsured
motorist coverage for the accident that occurred on January
The waiver at issue cast [sic] doubt as to which policy it
was applicable to. The policy existing at the time the waiver
was executed was insured by Chartis. The policy existing at
the time of the accident and at the time a second waiver was
signed after the accident on February 21, 2014, was insured
by AIG/National Union. The 2012 waiver did not have the
policy listed on it; however failure to list the policy
number on the waiver is not a sole basis for finding the
waivers ambiguous. The waivers also did not contain the name
of the current policy issuer; the 2012 waivers named Chartis,
not AIG/National Union.
The Court found that the totality of the facts at issue and
the form of the purported waiver of uninsured/underinsured
motorist coverage made the waiver unclear and mistakable.
Accordingly, the Court found that the uninsured/underinsured
coverage waiver was invalid.
trial court certified the ruling as final and appealable.
National Union now timely appeals the judgment of the trial
court. For the following reasons, we reverse, finding that
there is a genuine issue of material fact as to whether a
valid UM waiver was properly executed.
Union asserts one assignment of error on appeal: "The
trial court erred in granting Plaintiff's Motion for
Summary Judgment on the validity of the UM/UIM waiver
judgment motions must be filed using the procedures set forth
in La.Code Civ.P. art. 966, and "shall be granted if the
motion, memorandum, and supporting documents show that there
is no genuine issue as to material fact and that the mover is
entitled to a judgment as a matter of law." La.Code
Civ.P. art. 966(A)(3).
Revised Statutes 22:1295 (emphasis added), which governs
uninsured motorist coverage, states in pertinent part:
following provisions shall govern the issuance of uninsured
motorist coverage in this state:
(1)(a)(i) No automobile liability insurance covering
liability arising out of the ownership, maintenance, or use
of any motor vehicle shall be delivered . . . unless coverage
is provided therein or supplemental thereto[ ] . . . for the
protection of persons insured thereunder who are legally
entitled to recover nonpunitive damages from owners or
operators of uninsured or underinsured motor ...