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Tortfeasor’s Creative Attempt to Invoke Uninsured Motorist Coverage Defeated

Blogs, Insurance Coverage

A recent Connecticut Superior Court decision held that a defendant driver may not pursue an apportionment complaint against the plaintiff’s uninsured motorist carrier where the plaintiff herself has not named the carrier or an unidentified driver as a defendant in the matter. See Mathews v. Blauvelt, No. CV106002940, 2010 WL 2927310 (Conn. Super. Ct. 2010). In Mathews, the defendant in a personal injury action resulting from an automobile accident, filed an apportionment complaint against the plaintiff’s insurance carrier, alleging that an unidentified motorist was the actual cause of the accident. The defendant further alleged that the insurer, “as surrogate for the unidentified driver, should be liable to the extent that the unidentified driver is liable.” Both the plaintiff and the insurer moved to strike the apportionment complaint on the ground that the defendant lacked privity of contract with the insurer and cannot require it to stand in the shoes of an unidentified driver who was not named as a defendant by the plaintiff in her complaint. The court agreed and struck the apportionment complaint.