H.L. v. C.C. et al
OPINION. Signed by Honorable Judge Myron H. Thompson on 2/26/13. (djy, )
IN THE DISTRICT COURT OF THE UNITED STATES FOR THE
MIDDLE DISTRICT OF ALABAMA, NORTHERN DIVISION
H. L., a minor who sues
by and through Heather
Ware her mother and next
SHIELD INSURANCE COMPANY,
CIVIL ACTION NO.
This lawsuit came before the court for hearing on
February 22, 2013, for consideration and approval of the
full and final settlement of the claims of plaintiff H.L.,
a minor, who sues by and through Heather Ware, her mother
interests are represented by guardian ad litem Karen Mastin
Laneaux, a court-appointed attorney separate from H.L. and
her mother’s attorney.
Based on the parties’ petition for
approval of settlement and the representations made in open
court, the court will approve the settlement.
occurred between H.L. and C.C., who is also a minor.
accident occurred when H.L. was driving east on Highway 14
at the interaction of Jasmine Trail in Prattville, Alabama.
C.C. turned left from Jasmine Trail onto Highway 14, but
in doing so, she failed to yield the right-of-way and
collided into H.L.’s car.
H.L. sued C.C. for causing the accident and Shield
Insurance Company for the benefits of uninsured-motorist
C.C. was later dismissed from this case with
by agreement of the parties
settlement agreement, judgment would be entered in favor
of H.L. for $ 90,000, with $ 50,000 of that sum paid by
C.C.’s insurer and $ 40,000 paid by Country Preferred
Insurance, a successor to Shield Insurance Company, the
distributed to the law firm of Beasley Allen, attorneys for
H.L., with the firm to distribute $ 10,006.52 to Blue Cross
Blue Shield for injuries sustained; $ 2500 to H.L.’s
mother, Ware, for her out-of-pocket expenses; and $ 1453.20
The remaining $ 46,554.20 would remain
in a trust account with Beasley Allen for H.L. until she
reaches the age of majority, 19, on December 9, 2013.
During the hearing, the court heard testimony from Ware,
H.L., and the guardian ad litem, who described the factual
circumstances and testified to the reasonableness of the
(The insurance carriers for C.C. and the
uninsured-motorist carrier, Country Preferred Insurance
Company, as successor to Shield Insurance Company, shall
each pay one-half of the fees and expenses of the guardian
The court is satisfied that the terms and provisions
of this settlement are understood and agreed to by all
Based on the record and testimony, described
provisions of the proposed settlement are in the best
interests of minor child H.L. and are fair, just, and
reasonable under the circumstances of this case. The court
will therefore approve the proposed settlement agreement.
However, one matter remains outstanding.
Ware have requested that the court release a portion of the
funds from the trust account before H.L. releases the age
of majority in December of this year so that H.L. can have
a new car.
Currently, Ware and H.L. are sharing a car.
This presents a number of practical barriers for them now,
and it will become even more difficult once H.L. begins
college far from where her mother works each day.
hearing, H.L. and Ware stated that they had not identified
a specific car or a specific amount of funds that they
Because of this, the guardian ad litem
opposed the release of funds.
However, she said that, if
a specific proposal were made, she would be better able to
Therefore, in order to address this matter, the court
will retain jurisdiction over this case for 60 days.
proposal for court approval of an amount to be released in
order to purchase or make a down payment on a car for H.L.
The guardian ad litem will have an opportunity to respond
to any such proposal.
An appropriate judgment will be entered.
DONE, this the 26th day of February, 2013.
/s/ Myron H. Thompson
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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