SARA E. HURST, Individually, and SARA E. HURST, as the Duly Appointed Wrongful Death Representative of the Estate of Larry G. Hurst, Appellants, (Defendants/Counterclaim Plaintiffs),
METROPOLITAN PROPERTY AND CASUALTY INSURANCE COMPANY, Appellee, (Plaintiff/Counterclaim Defendant).
from the District Court of Sheridan County The Honorable
William J. Edelman, Judge
Representing Appellants: Autumn Aspen, John Coppede, Quinton
Parham, and Richard D. Bush of Hickey & Evans, LLP,
Cheyenne, Wyoming. Argument by Mr. Bush.
Representing Appellee: Megan Overmann Goetz of Pence and
MacMillan, LLC, Laramie, Wyoming.
BURKE, C.J., and HILL, DAVIS, KAUTZ, JJ., and KRICKEN, D.J.
KRICKEN, DISTRICT JUDGE.
On May 31, 2014, Larry Hurst was killed and Sara Hurst,
seriously injured, while riding their bicycles after a
vehicle, driven by Hannah Terry (Terry), negligently and
consecutively struck each of their bicycles. Terry was not
insured at the time. Thereafter, the Hursts filed a claim
with their uninsured motorist insurance carrier, Metropolitan
Property and Casualty Insurance Company (MetLife), who, in
turn, filed a Complaint for Interpleader against Sara Hurst;
the Estate of Larry Hurst (collectively, the Hursts); and
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Wyoming,  seeking an order that the
defendants interplead and settle their rights to the
uninsured motorist (UIM) coverage provided for in the
Hursts' MetLife policy (the Policy). The Policy provided
UIM coverage/benefits in the amount of "$300, 000 each
person/$300, 000 each accident." MetLife contended that
the injuries to the Hursts and caused by Terry were the
result of one (1) accident, resulting in a maximum of $300,
000 in coverage. The Hursts argued that their injuries were
the result of two (2) accidents, warranting $600, 000 in
coverage. The Hursts and MetLife filed cross-motions for
summary judgment, along with a stipulation of the underlying
facts. The district court granted summary judgment in favor
of MetLife, finding there was only one (1) accident for
purposes of determining the amount of UIM coverage. The
Hursts appealed. We reverse and remand, concluding that,
although the district court adopted the correct legal theory
upon which to determine the number of accidents for
application of UIM coverage and policy limits, the factual
record is insufficient for a legal conclusion as to whether
Terry maintained or regained control of her vehicle during
her collisions with the Hursts. As a result, summary judgment
was improperly granted.
In their appeal, the Hursts present the following issue(s):
1. Did the district court err in its ruling on cross-motions
for summary judgment that there was one (1) rather than two
(2) accidents for purposes of determining the amount of
uninsured motorist coverage for Joint-Appellants Larry and
Sara Hurst who were separately struck by an uninsured
motorist while on bicycles?
(a) Did the district court adopt the correct theory, i.e.
causation, to determine there was one (1) accident in a case
involving uninsured motorist coverage?
(b) Did the district court correctly apply the causation
theory to determine there was one (1) accident in light of
the stipulated facts?
(c) Did the district court correctly apply the Matty
decision, which it relied on, to determine there was only one
(d) Did the district court properly construe/interpret the
uninsured motorist coverage to determine that one (1)
accident, a term that is undefined in the applicable policy,
occurred on May 31, 2014?
generally agrees, phrasing the issue as:
Whether the district court correctly determined there was
"one accident" at issue in this matter.
The parties stipulated to the following facts before the
district court, as follows:
On May 31, 2014, at approximately 12:10 p.m., Larry and Sara
were riding separate bicycles and headed south in the 4000
block of Coffeen Avenue/US Highway 87 near the city of
Sheridan, state of Wyoming. Sara was riding her bicycle
approximately thirty (30) feet in front of Larry. Both
bicycles were being ridden on the shoulder of the road,
within the emergency lane, and out of the lane of traffic.
At approximately 12:10 p.m. on May 31, 2014, Hannah Terry,
driving a 2012 Dodge Caravan (minivan), was also traveling
south on Coffeen Avenue at a speed of approximately fifty
(50) MPH when her minivan entered the emergency lane
(shoulder of the road).
After entering the emergency lane, the left front of her
minivan struck Larry's bicycle from behind, throwing
Larry from his bicycle and over the roof of the minivan.
Larry was thrown approximately 166 feet following impact with
the minivan. . . .
After striking Larry, the minivan continued to travel in the
emergency lane for approximately thirty (30) more feet before
it struck Sara's bicycle from behind. After being struck
by the left front of the minivan, Sara's bicycle was
pushed by the minivan until it came to a stop. Sara remained
on the hood of the minivan after it struck her. At some point
following the impact, Sara also struck the windshield of the
minivan. . . .
There was approximately one-half (1/2) to one (1) second
between Hannah Terry first striking Larry Hurst and
subsequently striking Sara Hurst with the minivan.
. . .
Larry succumbed to his injuries shortly after being struck by
the minivan, which was a direct result of the negligent
driving of Hannah Terry. . . .
Sara sustained multiple serious physical injuries and trauma
as a result of the negligent driving of Hannah Terry,
including a concussion, collapsed lung(s), pulmonary
contusion, internal bleeding, a thoracic fracture, as well as
fractures to her leg and ribs .....
The minivan showed no mechanical failure and appeared to be
in good condition.
The roadway was in good condition and was not a factor.
The weather was good and was not a factor.
Both bicycles ridden by the Hursts were in good condition and
were not factors.
Both bicycles ridden by the Hursts were about 2.5 to 3 feet
inside the shoulder of the road and were not an ...