Sentry Select Insurance Company et al v. Holdeman et al
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER. IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that Plaintiff Sentry Select Insurance Companys motion for summary judgment against Defendants Steve and Sarah Holdeman and Philip Stratman and Kathy Stratman 44 is GRANTED. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Plaintiff Sentry Select Insurance Companys motion for default judgment against Defendants Haris Trokic, C&G Express, LLC, Long Run Express, LLC, and Roger Brown 42 is GRANTED. Signed by District Judge Rodney W. Sippel on 2/25/16. (CAR)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI
SENTRY SELECT INSURANCE
STEVEN HOLDEMAN, et al.,
Case No. 4:15 CV 564 RWS
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
Defendants in this action are engaged in litigation in state court regarding an
automobile accident. Some of the defendants in the state court case were covered
by insurance policies issued by Plaintiff Sentry Select Insurance Company. Sentry
seeks a declaratory judgment from this Court regarding its obligations under these
policies. Sentry filed a motion for summary judgment and a motion for default
judgment declaring that it has no duty to indemnify or defend any of the
defendants in the underlying lawsuit. Because Sentry has provided undisputed
evidence in support of its motions, I will grant its motion for summary judgment
and its motion for default judgment.
Sentry issued an insurance policy to Defendant Long Run Express LLC for
the period of March 1, 2013 to March 1, 2014, Policy Number CT751117001 (the
Long Run Policy). The limit of liability of the policy was $1,000,000. Sentry
issued a second insurance policy to Defendant C&G Express, LLC for the period
January 1, 2014 to January 1, 2015, Policy Number CT751827003 (the C&G
Policy). The limit of liability of the policy was also $1,000,000.
On October 21, 2014, Defendants Steve and Sarah Holdeman filed a
personal injury lawsuit against Defendant Philip Stratman and Defendant Roger
Brown arising from a motor vehicle accident that occurred on February 13, 2014.
The vehicles in the accident were being driven by Steve Holdeman, Philip
Stratman, and Brown. On January 7, 2015, Philip Stratman and Kathy Stratman
filed a third-party claim against Defendants Haris Trokic, C&G, Long Run, and
XTRA Lease, LLC for claims arising from the accident. On April 2, 2015, the
Holdemans amended their petition asserting claims against Philip Stratman,
Brown, Trokic, C&G, Long Run, and XTRA Lease.
On October 3, 2014, prior to the commencement of the underlying lawsuit,
Sentry paid out the limits of its policy under the Long Run Policy and under the
C&G Policy for a total of $2,000,000 to the Holdemans and the Stratmans pursuant
to a settlement agreement. On April 2, 2015, Sentry filed the present complaint for
a declaratory judgment in this Court. On October 15, 2015, Sentry filed a motion
for summary judgment1 seeking a declaration that it owes no further duty to
indemnify or defend the Holdemans, the Stratmans, and XTRA Leasing under the
Long Run policy or under the C&G Policy.
After Sentry filed its motion for summary judgement, Defendant XTRA
Leasing entered into a consent judgment with Sentry . The Holdemans have
not opposed Sentry’s motion for summary judgment. The Stratmans opposed
Sentry’s motion and sought further discovery. I granted that motion and the
Stratmans propounded interrogatories to Sentry. Rather than posing, as I was lead
to believe, interrogatories regarding any additional policies Sentry may have issued
which would cover the accident at issue, the Stratmans sought interpretations of the
Long Run and the C&G policies regarding costs, prejudgment interest, and postjudgment interest. Sentry responded to that discovery and filed a response to the
Stratmans’ ongoing opposition to summary judgment on January 15, 2016.
Summary judgment is appropriate if the evidence, viewed in the light most
favorable to the nonmoving party, demonstrates that there is no genuine issue as to
any material fact and that the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of
law. Lynn v. Deaconess Medical Center, 160 F.3d 484, 486 (8th Cir. 1998)(citing
Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(c)). The party seeking summary judgment bears the initial
Sentry contemporaneously filed a motion for default judgment against Defendants Haris Trokic, C&G Express,
LLC, Long Run Express, LLC, and Roger Brown which will be granted for the same reason I am granting Sentry’s
motion for summary judgment.
responsibility of informing the court of the basis of its motion and identifying those
portions of the affidavits, pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and
admissions on file which it believes demonstrates the absence of a genuine issue of
material fact. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323 (1986). When such a
motion is made and supported by the movant, the nonmoving party may not rest on
his pleadings but must produce sufficient evidence to support the existence of the
essential elements of his case on which he bears the burden of proof. Id. at 324. In
resisting a properly supported motion for summary judgment, the plaintiff has an
affirmative burden to designate specific facts creating a triable controversy.
Crossley v. Georgia Pacific Corp., 355 F.3d 1112, 1113 (8th Cir. 2004).
The undisputed evidence in this matter establishes that Sentry paid the limit
of its liability ($2,000,000) under the Long Run and C&G policies to the
Holdemans and the Stratmans prior to the filing of the underlying lawsuit in state
court. Sentry’s payment of the limit of liability of the policies extinguished any
further duty to indemnify or defend any claims under the policies. Sentry seeks
summary judgment declaring it has no further duty under these policies to
indemnify or defend any Defendant in the present lawsuit relating to the accident at
issue. Sentry is entitled to such a judgment.
The issues explored by the Stratmans in their interrogatories regarding costs,
prejudgment interest and post-judgment coverages are moot. Because Sentry paid
out the limits of the policies before the commencement of the underlying lawsuit, it
does not owe any remaining duties to any Sentry insured. As a result, I will grant
Sentry’s motion for summary judgment.
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that Plaintiff Sentry Select Insurance
Company’s motion for summary judgment against Defendants Steve and Sarah
Holdeman and Philip Stratman and Kathy Stratman  is GRANTED.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Plaintiff Sentry Select Insurance
Company’s motion for default judgment against Defendants Haris Trokic, C&G
Express, LLC, Long Run Express, LLC, and Roger Brown  is GRANTED.
RODNEY W. SIPPEL
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Dated this 25th day of February, 2016.
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