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Metro. Prop. & Cas. Ins. Co. v. Devlin

United States District Court, D. Massachusetts

April 2, 2015

METROPOLITAN PROPERTY AND CASUALTY INSURANCE COMPANY, Plaintiff,
v.
SUSAN DEVLIN, MARY DESROSIER, MATTHEW DESROSIER, and JOHN DOE, as personal representative of the ESTATE OF JOSEPH SIMONE, Defendants

For Metropolitan Property and Casualty Insurance Company, Plaintiff: Michael L. Snyder, LEAD ATTORNEY, McGovern & Ganem, PC, Boston, MA.

For Susan Devlin, Defendant: Matthew T. Lallier, LEAD ATTORNEY, Lallier Munroe, Amesbury, MA.

Page 279

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

PATTI B. SARIS, United States District Judge.

I. INTRODUCTION

Plaintiff Metropolitan Property and Casualty Insurance Company seeks a declaration that it has no duty to defend or indemnify for a car accident involving a Ford Taurus insured by Metropolitan. The Court has already entered default judgment against Defendants Mary Desrosier (the Taurus's owner and policyholder), Matthew Desrosier (who was driving the Taurus at the time of the accident), and the Estate of Joseph Simone (who was riding in the Taurus's backseat). Metropolitan now moves for summary judgment against Defendant Susan Devlin, who was injured when the Taurus collided with her

Page 280

vehicle. The company argues that its insurance policy does not apply here because the accident occurred while the Taurus was being driven without the owner's consent. After a review of the record and hearing, Plaintiff's Motion for Summary Judgment (Docket No. 58) is ALLOWED IN PART AND DENIED IN PART.

II. STATEMENT OF UNDISPUTED FACTS

The following facts are undisputed, except where noted. All reasonable inferences are drawn in favor of Defendant Susan Devlin, the non-moving party.[1]

Susan Devlin was in her vehicle on October 27, 2010 when she was rear-ended by a Ford Taurus. The insurance company conducted an investigation, which revealed the following. The Taurus was being driven by Matthew Desrosier and belonged to his mother, Mary Desrosier. At the time of the accident, Matthew had a suspended license and was not driving the Taurus with his mother's consent. To the contrary, Mary had expressly forbidden Matthew from driving the vehicle under any circumstances.

To recover for injuries suffered during the accident, Devlin filed a lawsuit in Middlesex County Superior Court against the Desrosiers and the Estate of Joseph Simone, who was in the backseat. In her amended complaint, Devlin alleges that Matthew Desrosier's negligent operation of the vehicle caused the accident and her injuries (Count 1). She also alleges that Mary Desrosier and Joseph Simone were liable for negligently entrusting the vehicle to Matthew (Counts 2 and 3). Finally, Devlin alleges that Mary Desrosier was liable for negligently failing to secure her vehicle from unauthorized use by Matthew. (Count 4). This lawsuit is still pending in Superior Court.

III. STANDARD OF REVIEW

Summary judgment is appropriate when there is " no genuine issue as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law." Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). The role of summary judgment is " to pierce the pleadings and to assess the proof in order to see whether there is a genuine need for trial." Mesnick v. Gen. Elec. Co.,950 F.2d 816, 822 (1st Cir. 1991) (quotation marks omitted). To succeed on a motion for summary judgment, the moving party must demonstrate that there is an " absence of evidence supporting the non-moving party's case." Sands v. Ridefilm Corp.,212 ...


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