State Farm Mutual Insurance Company v. McClintock et al
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER granting 42 Motion to Deposit Interpleader Funds pursuant to 28 USC 1335. See order for details. Signed by District Judge Eric F. Melgren on 07/05/2017. (aa)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF KANSAS
STATE FARM MUTUAL
INSURANCE COMPANY, and
SAFEWAY COUNTY MUTUAL
ETHEL McCLINTOCK, or her Estate or
other Successor Fiduciary entity under
Texas Law, RONALD McCLINTOCK, as )
Heir at Law of ETHEL McCLINTOCK,
BROOKE REEVES, individually; B.S., a, )
minor, by and through her parent, natural
guardian and next friend, BROOKE
REEVES; S.M., a minor, by and through her )
parent, natural guardian and next friend,
COURTNEY MCGEE; AMY GAITHER; )
A.G., E.G., L.G., and W.G., minors, by and )
through their parents, natural guardian and )
next friend, RONNIE GAITHER,
Pursuant to K.S.A. Chapter 60
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER ON MOTION BY PLAINTIFFS STATE FARM AND
SAFEWAY INSURANCE COMPANY TO PAY POLICY PROCEEDS INTO COURT
REGISTERY AND FOR FINAL DISCHARGE OF LIABILITY
THIS matter comes on for decision on the joint Motion of Plaintiffs State Farm Mutual
Insurance Company (“State Farm”) Safeway County Mutual Insurance Company (“Safeway”)
for leave to pay their policy limits in controversy into registry of the Court and for discharge of
those insurers and their respective liability insured as to claims herein or which might be brought
The court notes that plaintiff and intervener filed this motion and made service
electronically on May 12, 2017, and that no other party herein has filed an objection or otherwise
MOREOVER, no counter-claims, cross-claims or otherwise have been asserted by any
party herein against either State Farm or Safeway.
(1) In light of the foregoing, the Court makes the following findings pursuant to Rule
56b of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and Local Rule 56.1. On, May 25, 2015, a
two vehicle automobile accident occurred in Sumner County, Kansas, resulting in
multiple injuries and a fatality among interpleader defendant herein. Plaintiff, State Farm
provided liability coverage to Ethel McClintock for permissive users of the accident
vehicle. Safeway additionally provided personal liability coverage to the driver Brooke
Reeves. Both were for legal liabilities for bodily injury incurred as a result of the
conduct of their insureds including permissive operators of the accident vehicle. The
potential and actual claimants are as set out in the Amended Complaint filed herein on
September 7, 2016.
(2) Any reasonable analysis of the fault involved in the two vehicle accident during a
left turn would indicate that fault could be alleged against each driver pursuant to K.S.A
60-258a with no certainty as to any particular assessment. Moreover, as a permissive
operator of the accident vehicle, Reeves was an insured person under both her own
Safeway and the vehicle’s State Farm liability policies. Accordingly, there is coverage
and liability exposure on both plaintiffs’ liability policies.
(3) In view of the significant damages and fatality, liabilities and potential damages
could possibly exceed the liability limits of both policies. Plaintiff State Farm has
coverage in the amount of $100,000.00 for damages for all bodily injuries in a single
occurrence; Plaintiff Safeway has a policy providing coverage under Texas law for
$30,000.00 per person and $60,000.00 per accident to all persons injured or killed as a
result of its insured legal liability.
(4) Both Plaintiffs State Farm Safeway propose to pay their full policy limits into
registry of the Court under the provision of the Interpleader claim under Federal Rule 22
and 28 U.S.C. §1335 and 2361. The Court has personal and subject matter jurisdiction of
this matter under those statutes. The remaining claimant parties have not yet reached
agreement on apportionment of these proceeds among the injured parties who are their
legal representatives. Under the principles of federal statutory interpleader, 28 U.S.C.
§1335 and 2361, dismissal of all claims against each plaintiff will not deprive the Court
of subject matter jurisdiction as there is diversity remaining among the adverse claimants.
(5) The payment of full limits of liability under the respective liability insurance
policies will complete and discharge any and all obligations of State Farm and Safeway
under those policy contracts to any person herein and a judgment in their favor
discharging any such liability should be entered effective upon payment into Court
(6) The Court accordingly finds that an Order should be forthcoming directing
payment of the respective policy proceeds into Court registry with further instruction to
place these in an interest bearing account at a financial institution selected jointly by the
claimants. Upon such payment, judgment should be entered dismissing any and all
claims, counterclaims or cross-claims asserted or which might have been asserted as a
result of the subject accident with prejudice, including to the refiling hereof, and limiting
any and all claims in recovery from this point forward to the aggregate amounts paid into
(7) In view of the conclusion of obligations on the part of State Farm and Safeway
and the impossibility of further claims or litigation against them arising out of their
policies and the subject motor vehicle accident, and the severability of the apportionment
issues remaining among the claimant parties, there is no just reason or excuse why final
judgment should not be entered in favor of each plaintiff, State Farm and Safeway,
pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 54(b).
(8) Accordingly judgment is rendered in the amount of $100,000.00 against State
Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company and $60,000.00 against Safeway County
Mutual Insurance Company upon payment of which they are discharged of all liability
IT IS BY THE COURT SO ORDERED.
Dated this 5th day of July, 2017.
Eric F. Melgren
U.S. District Court Judge
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