The Connecticut Superior Court recently awarded summary judgment in favor of an insurer on an uninsured motorist claim involving a pedestrian who threw a bottle at the automobile driven by the plaintiff, injuring the plaintiff in the process. Gildersleeve v. Travelers Home and Marine Ins. Co., CV-08-5024259 (Conn. Super. December 29, 2009).
According to the opinion of the court, the following facts are undisputed. The Plaintiff was driving down a one way street when he encountered another vehicle stopped in the road, the driver of which was conversing with a pedestrian. The plaintiff honked the horn in his vehicle, and the unknown driver of the stopped vehicle pulled over. Then, as the plaintiff attempted to pass the other vehicle, the pedestrian threw a glass bottle toward the plaintiff’s vehicle, which broke the vehicle’s window and hit the plaintiff in the face, causing him injury.
The plaintiff made an uninsured motorist claim with the defendant insurer, who provided the plaintiff with uninsured motorist coverage. The insurer denied the claim on the basis that the plaintiff’s injuries did not arise from the operation or use of an uninsured motor vehicle as required by the insurance policy. The plaintiff then filed a lawsuit against the insurer, and the insurer moved for summary judgment.
The court granted the insurer’s motion for summary judgment. The court based its decision on the fact that “the alleged tort-feasor is not the driver of the uninsured motor vehicle and there is no evidence of a connection between the uninsured vehicle and the plaintiff’s injury.” “Further,” the court continued, “the requirements of the insurance policy in this case mandate that payments of uninsured motorist coverage be made as a result of the ‘use’ and ‘operation’ of the uninsured vehicle, not of the plaintiff’s vehicle.”
A copy of the decision is available here.