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Amore v. Grange Insurance Co.

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Fifth District

June 3, 2003

DARLENE AMORE, ET AL. Plaintiffs-Appellees
v.
GRANGE INSURANCE COMPANY Defendant-Appellant and CONTINTENTAL INSURANCE COMPANY Defendant-Appellee/Cross-Appellant

Appeal from the Court of Common Pleas, Case No. 00-441D

For Plaintiffs-Appellees: JOHN K. RINEHARDT

For Grange Mutual Casualty Company: H. FRANK MCDANIEL, JR.

For Tokio Marine & Fire Insurance Co., Ltd. DAVID J. DEMERS

For Continental Insurance Company IRENE C. KEYSE-WALKER, ROBERT J. HANNA, BENJAMIN C. SASSÉ

W. Scott Gwin, P.J. Hon. Sheila G. Farmer, J. Hon. Julie A. Edwards, J.

OPINION

Farmer, J.

{¶1} On June 6, 1998, Darlene Amore was a passenger in her own van being driven by her husband, Thomas Amore, when it was rear-ended by Elizabeth Brennan. As a result of the accident, Mrs. Amore sustained injuries and lost wages.

{¶2} At the time of the accident, Mrs. Amore was employed by The Thomson Corporation, insured under a business auto policy issued by Continental Insurance Company. Mr. Amore was employed by FujiFilm America, Inc., insured under a business auto policy issued by Tokio Marine and Fire Insurance Company, Ltd. Both Mr. and Mrs. Amore were insured under a personal insurance policy issued by Grange Mutual Casualty Company.

{¶3} On June 5, 2000, appellees, Mr. and Mrs. Amore, filed a complaint against Grange and Continental, seeking underinsured motorists benefits. On February 9, 2001, appellees filed an amended complaint, adding Tokio as a party defendant. Grange filed cross-claims against Continental and Tokio for contribution on a pro-rata basis.

{¶4} All the insurance companies filed motions for summary judgment. By judgment entry pending summary judgment motions filed May 1, 2002, the trial court denied the motions, finding appellees were entitled to underinsured motorists benefits under all three policies, with Grange's coverage being primary and the remaining policies being excess.

{¶5} On July 24, 2002, the parties filed a joint stipulation, stating there remained $200, 000 in damages after reduction for the amount paid on behalf of the tortfeasor's insurer, Grange tendered the full $50, 000 underinsured motorists benefit to appellees and any prejudgment interest claims had yet to be decided.

{¶6} On August 23, 2002, Grange filed a notice of appeal (Case No. 02CA58). Continental filed a cross-appeal on August 28, 2002.

{¶7} By judgment entry on plaintiffs motion for judgment and prejudgment interest filed September 20, 2002, the trial court resolved the ...


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