Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Safeco Insurance Company of Illinois v. Schmid

United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Tacoma

April 19, 2018

SAFECO INSURANCE COMPANY OF ILLINOIS, a foreign insurer, Plaintiff,
v.
TERRY L. SCHMID and NOEL M. SCHMID, and their marital community, Washington residents, Defendants.

          ORDER ON SUMMARY JUDGMENT

          RONALD B. LEIGHTON UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         THIS MATTER is before the Court on Plaintiff's Motion for Summary Judgment [Dkt. #35], and in opposition, the Defendants' Motion to Strike Hearsay Documents, Motion to Stay Pending Resolution of the Appeal Before State Court of Appeals [Dkt. #37], and Motion to Certify Question to the Washington State Supreme Court [Dkt. #39]. The Court has reviewed the materials for and against the motions and has conducted oral argument. For the reasons that follow, the Plaintiff's Motion is GRANTED and each of Defendants' Motions is DENIED.

         I. FACTS

         On April 4, 2012, Terry Schmid was involved in an automobile accident with Robert Reynolds in Tacoma. On April 10, 2012, Schmid was involved in another accident with Christopher Foss, also in Tacoma.

         Safeco had issued automobile liability insurance policy No. H517774 to Schmid and that policy was in effect at the time of each accident. The Safeco Policy includes Underinsured Motorist coverage (limited to $500, 000 per person and per accident).

         In 2015, Schmid sued Reynolds in Pierce County Superior Court, seeking a judgment against Reynolds for damages sustained by Schmid in the First Accident. The liability limit of Reynolds' automobile insurance policy was $25, 000 per person.

         Also in 2015, Schmid sued Foss in Pierce County Superior Court, seeking a judgment against Foss for damages he sustained in the Second Accident. The liability limit of Foss's automobile insurance policy was $250, 000 per person.

         On September 24, 2015, Safeco moved to intervene in the underlying lawsuit against Foss. Schmid opposed the intervention. Foss also opposed the motion. The court reserved ruling, but ordered the parties to allow Safeco to participate in all discovery. The court allowed Safeco to renew its motion after ninety days.

         On September 29, 2015, Schmid sent Safeco a “Notice of Intent to Arbitrate.” Safeco declined to arbitrate the UIM claim.

         Safeco filed a second motion to intervene on February 3, 2016. Schmid again opposed intervention. The court allowed Safeco to intervene as a participant in the action. On March 28, 2016, the court consolidated the suit against Reynolds with the suit against Foss.

         On January 26, 2017, Schmid filed a Motion to Transfer Case to and Compel Binding Arbitration, Strike Trial Date and Determine that Safeco Will Be Bound by an Arbitration Award (“Motion to Compel Arbitration”). Safeco opposed the motion. Reynolds did not oppose the motion. Foss joined in the motion. The state trial court denied Schmid's motion, ruling that Safeco could not be compelled to participate in any arbitration agreed to by other parties, and that neither Safeco nor Schmid would be bound by the arbitration award in any subsequent litigation regarding the UIM claim.

         The same day, Schmid entered into a Stipulation with Reynolds and Foss for final and binding arbitration of their disputes. Schmid agreed to limit enforcement of any arbitration award against either defendant to that defendant's automobile liability policy limits ($25, 000 and $250, 000, respectively). The parties agreed to withhold information regarding this jurisdictional limit or waiver of damages above policy limits, so that the Arbitrator would feel free to award damages in excess of the limits.

         Before the arbitration took place, Schmid settled his claim against Reynolds for the injuries sustained in the First Accident, released Reynolds, and Reynolds was dismissed from the lawsuit. Reynolds paid Schmid $25, 000 in settlement.

         On June 29 and 30, 2017, Schmid and Foss arbitrated the tort claim and the arbitrator awarded Schmid $378, 000. Foss paid Schmid the $250, 000 to which Schmid was legally entitled. Foss also paid the cost bill amount ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.