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Brewington v. State Farm Mutual Auto. Insurance Co.

United States District Court, D. Nevada

September 16, 2014

CATHERINE BREWINGTON, Plaintiff,
v.
STATE FARM MUTUAL AUTOMOBILE INSURANCE COMPANY, Defendant

Decided Date: September 15, 2014

For Catherine Brewington, Plaintiff: Leah Ronhaar, Thomas E Drendel, LEAD ATTORNEYS, Bradley, Drendel & Jeanney, Reno, NV.

For State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company, Defendant: Riley A. Clayton, LEAD ATTORNEY, James E Harper, Hall Jaffe & Clayton, LLP, Las Vegas, NV; Scott A Glogovac, LEAD ATTORNEY, Burton, Bartlett & Glogovac, Reno, NV.

Page 1216

ORDER

LARRY R. HICKS, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

Before the court is defendant State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company's (" State Farm" ) motion for partial summary judgment. Doc. #14.[1] Plaintiff Catherine Brewington (" Brewington" ) filed

Page 1217

an opposition to the motion (Doc. #15), to which State Farm replied (Doc. #23).

Also before the court is plaintiff Brewington's cross-motion for partial summary judgment. Doc. #17. State Farm filed an opposition (Doc. #24), to which Brewington replied (Doc. #25).

I. Facts and Background

This is a breach of contract action between Brewington and State Farm for uninsured motorist (" UM" ) coverage arising from a motorcycle accident that resulted in the death of Brewington's husband, Purdy Brewington (" Purdy" ).

On August 29, 2012, Purdy and Brewington were riding separate motorcycles along State Highway 49 in Sierra County, California. At the same time, non-party Jerry Godbey (" Godbey" ) was riding his motorcycle along State Highway 49 in the opposite direction. Godbey, coming around a corner, crossed the center lane and collided with Purdy ejecting both riders from their motorcycles. Brewington, who was riding a little behind Purdy, witnessed the collision and called an ambulance. On the way to the hospital, Purdy died with Brewington at his side. As a result of the accident, Brewington became emotionally distraught and was prescribed various medications and treatment.

At the time of the accident, both Purdy and Brewington were insured under an automobile and motorcycle policy issued by State Farm.[2] The policy provides UM coverage for " each person" injured in an accident in an amount up to $250,000, and a total of up to $500,000 for " each accident." Doc. #14, Exhibit A, p. 2.

After the accident, Brewington submitted a wrongful death claim to State Farm on behalf of Purdy. State Farm extended coverage for Purdy's death in the maximum " each person" amount of $250,000. Brewington also submitted a separate UM claim seeking an additional $250,000 in coverage for her own emotional distress from witnessing the accident. State Farm denied Brewington's separate emotional distress claim.

Subsequently, Brewington filed the underlying complaint against State Farm alleging three causes of action: (1) breach of contract; (2) breach of the implied covenants of good faith and fair dealing; and (3) violation of the Nevada Trade Practices Act, NRS 686A.310. Doc. #1. Thereafter, the parties filed the present ...


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