Employers Mutual Casualty Company v. Godley Auction Company Inc of South Carolina et al
ORDER granting 16 Motion for Default Judgment as to defendant Godley Auction Company Inc. of South Carolina. Signed by Honorable J Michelle Childs on 5/3/2017.(asni, )
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF SOUTH CAROLINA
Employers Mutual Casualty
Godley Auction Company, Inc. of )
South Carolina and Larry L.
Civil Action No. 5:16-cv-01203-JMC
ORDER OF DEFAULT JUDGMENT
AS TO GODLEY AUCTION COMPANY,
INC. OF SOUTH CAROLINA
This matter is before the court on Plaintiff Employers Mutual Casualty Company’s
(“Plaintiff”) request for entry of default judgment as to Godley Auction Company, Inc. of South
Carolina, pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 55(b)(2). (ECF No. 16.)
On April 18, 2016, Plaintiff filed a Complaint against Godley Auction Company, Inc. of
South Carolina ("GAC-SC") and Larry L. Hudson (collectively “Defendants”). Plaintiff’s
Complaint is based on an accident that occurred on November 5, 2014, in Orangeburg County,
South Carolina, and subsequent litigation filed by Defendant Hudson, currently pending in the
Orangeburg County Court of Common Pleas (hereafter “the Underlying Litigation”). (ECF
Plaintiff issued a commercial general liability policy (hereafter "Policy A") to Godley
Auction Company, Inc., Charlotte, North Carolina, with effective dates of September 3, 2014 to
September 3, 2015. (ECF No. 1-2.) Furthermore, Plaintiff issued a commercial general liability
policy (hereafter "Policy B") to Defendant GAC-SC, with effective dates of September 1, 2011
to September 1, 2012. (ECF No. 1-2.) Policy B was cancelled upon the dissolution of GAC-SC
in April, 2012. (ECF No. 1 at 5.) According to the Complaint filed in the Underlying Litigation,
on December 31, 2009, Defendant Hudson purchased a two-row corn picker from Defendant
GAC-SC in Orangeburg, South Carolina. Defendant Hudson allegedly was injured while using
the corn picker on November 5, 2014. (ECF No. 16 at 5.) Plaintiff states that the allegations in
the Underlying Litigation do not trigger Policy B’s insuring agreement since they do not
constitute an occurrence resulting in a bodily injury that occurred during the policy period. Id.
Plaintiff further states that the allegations in the Underlying Litigation do not trigger Policy A’s
insuring agreement as they do not constitute sums an “insured” is legally obligated to pay due to
a bodily injury caused by an occurrence. Id.
Plaintiff requests a declaration that it has no duty to defend or indemnify GAC-SC for
any judgment in the Underlying Litigation because Defendant GAC-SC is not insured under
Policy A and any claims made against Defendant GAC-SC in the Underlying Litigation are not
covered by Policy A and/or Policy B. (ECF No. 1 at 6.) Plaintiff further requests reimbursement
from Defendants for its court fees.
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure (“Fed. R. Civ. P.”) 55(b)(2) provides for the entry of
default judgment by the court against a party in default. Id. When a defendant defaults, the
court is to accept as true the well-pleaded factual allegations in the complaint as to defendant's
liability. Ryan v. Homecomings Fin. Network, 253 F.3d 778, 780-1 (4th Cir. 2001).
In this matter, Defendant GAC-SC failed to plead or otherwise defend and is now in
default. Therefore, Plaintiff's allegations in the Complaint are deemed admitted and it is entitled
to a default judgment against Defendant GAC-SC pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 55(b)(2). Bank
Meridian, N.A. v. Motor Yacht "It's 5 O'Clock Somewhere" Official No. 1073764, C/A No.
2:09-594-MBS, 2011 WL 2491369, at *2 (D.S.C. June 21, 2011).
Based on the foregoing, and upon consideration of the Summons and Complaint, and the
Plaintiff’s Motion for Entry of Default Judgment (ECF No. 16), the court finds that Defendant
GAC-SC is in default in this matter.
It is, therefore, ordered, adjudged and decreed that Defendant GAC-SC is in default, and
the court finds that the claims asserted against Defendant GAC-SC in the Underlying Litigation
are not covered under Policy A and/or Policy B, and Plaintiff has no duty to defend or indemnify
IT IS SO ORDERED.
United States District Judge
May 3, 2017
Columbia, South Carolina
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