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Holloman v. Permanent General Assurance Corp.

Court of Appeals of Ohio, First District, Hamilton

December 11, 2019

CHANEL M. HOLLOMAN, Plaintiff-Appellant,
v.
PERMANENT GENERAL ASSURANCE CORPORATION, d.b.a. THE GENERAL, and TRUSTGARD INSURANCE COMPANY, Defendants-Appellees.

          Civil Appeal From: Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas TRIAL NO. A-1704449

         Judgment Appealed From Is: Affirmed in Part, Reversed in Part, and Cause Remanded

          O'Connor, Acciani & Levy and Robert B. Acciani, for Plaintiff-Appellant,

          Reminger Co., LPA, and Chad E. Willits, for Defendant-Appellee Permanent General Assurance Corporation, d.b.a. The General, John P. Carlson, for Defendant-Appellee Trustgard Insurance Company.

          OPINION

          WINKLER, JUDGE.

         {¶1} Plaintiff-appellant Chanel Holloman appeals the judgment of the trial court granting summary judgment in favor of defendants-appellees Permanent General Assurance Corporation, d.b.a. The General ("The General"), and Trustgard Insurance Company ("Trustgard"). For the reasons that follow, we reverse the trial court's judgment entered in favor of Trustgard, and we affirm the judgment entered in favor of The General.

         Factual Background and Procedural Posture

         {¶2} Holloman was injured in a car crash by a car driven by Christopher Hay. Hay was driving a Chrysler Sebring owned by his then-girlfriend Bethany Mathis. Mathis had an insurance policy with The General in which she had insured the Sebring. At the time of the crash, Hay had an auto liability policy with Trustgard. Hay's Trustgard policy listed a 1998 Cadillac Deville as a covered automobile. Hay had sold the Cadillac approximately four months prior to the collision.

         {¶3} Holloman received a default judgment against Hay for $25, 000. Holloman filed the instant supplemental complaint under R.C. 3929.06 seeking to recover her judgment against Trustgard and The General.

         {¶4} Trustgard moved for summary judgment. Trustgard argued that Hay's liability insurance policy was void because he had no insurable interest once he sold the Cadillac. Trustgard also argued that Mathis's car had been available for Hay's regular use, so the regular-use exception in the policy applied, and Trustgard was not obligated to provide liability coverage.

         {¶5} The General also moved for summary judgment. The General argued that the policy it had issued to Mathis contained a "Restricted Policy Endorsement," which limited coverage to the named insured, which was Mathis. Thus, The General argued that its policy did not extend coverage to Hay as a permissive driver.

         {¶6} The trial court granted summary judgment in favor of both Trustgard and The General. This appeal by Holloman ensued.

         Standard of Review

         {¶7} Under Civ.R. 56(C), summary judgment is proper when the moving party establishes that "(1) no genuine issue of any material fact remains, (2) the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law, and (3) it appears from the evidence that reasonable minds can come to but one conclusion, and construing the evidence most strongly in favor of the nonmoving party, that conclusion is adverse to the party against whom the motion for summary judgment is made." State ex rel. Duncan v. Mentor City Council,105 Ohio St.3d 372, 2005-Ohio-2163, 826 N.E.2d 832, ¶ 9, citing Temple v. Wean United, Inc.,50 Ohio St.2d 317, 327, 364 N.E.2d 267 (1977). However, "a trial court is required to overrule a motion for summary judgment where ...


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