United States District Court, N.D. Oklahoma
OPINION AND ORDER
E. DOWDELL, JUDGE
the Court is the Motion for Summary Judgment (Doc. 23) filed
by Plaintiff State Farm Fire and Casualty Co. (“State
Farm”). Defendant Bobbie Sadler (“Sadler”)
filed a Response (Doc. 29), but Defendant Regina Lusk
(“Lusk”) failed to do so. State Farm subsequently
filed a Reply (Doc. 30).
declaratory judgment action relates to an accident that was
the subject of a negligence action in the Oklahoma County
District Court, Sadler v. Lusk, CJ-2014-5707.
(See Doc. 2-2). In that action, Sadler alleged that
she sustained personal injuries when Lusk hit her and ran her
over with an all-terrain vehicle (“ATV”) at Lake
Eufala. (Doc. 2-2 at 1 [Pet. at ¶¶ 3-4]). At the
time of the accident, Lusk had a homeowners insurance policy
(“the Policy”) with State Farm. State Farm seeks
a judgment from this Court declaring that the Policy does not
cover any loss related to the aforementioned negligence suit
and that State Farm has no duty to defend Lusk or satisfy any
judgment secured against Lusk.
Summary Judgment Standards
judgment is appropriate “if the movant shows that there
is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant
is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.” Fed. R.
see Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322-23
(1986); Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S.
242, 250 (1986). “By its very terms, [the Rule 56]
standard provides that the mere existence of some
alleged factual dispute between the parties will not defeat
an otherwise properly supported motion for summary judgment;
the requirement is that there be no genuine issue of
material fact.” Anderson, 477 U.S. at
247-48 (emphasis in original). In this case, State Farm and
Sadler agree that there are no material facts in dispute.
(See Doc. 29 at 18). By failing to respond to the
summary judgment motion, Lusk is deemed to have admitted
State Farm's assertions of fact. See Fed. R.
Civ. P. 56(e); Local Rule 56.1. The sole issue for the Court
to determine is whether the subject incident occurred on an
“insured location” and is, therefore, covered by
Insurance Contract Construction
Oklahoma law, “the cardinal rule in contract
interpretation is to determine and give effect to the intent
of the parties.” Porter v. Okla. Farm Bureau Mut.
Ins. Co., 330 P.3d 511, 515 (Okla. 2014) (quoting In
re Kaufman, 37 P.3d 845, 853 (Okla. 2001)). “When
policy provisions are clear, consistent, and unambiguous,
[Oklahoma courts] look to the plain and ordinary meaning of
the policy language to determine and give effect to the
parties' intent.” Id. By contrast,
“[w]hen an insurance contract provision is ambiguous,
words of inclusion will be liberally construed in favor [of]
the insured, and words of exclusion will be strictly
construed against the insurer.” Haworth v.
Jantzen, 172 P.3d 193, 197 (Okla. 2006). “An
insurance contract is ambiguous only if it is susceptible to
two constructions on its face from the standpoint of a
reasonably prudent layperson, ” and Oklahoma courts
“will not indulge in forced or constrained
interpretations to create and then construe ambiguities in
insurance contracts.” Id. at 196.
Policy includes the following clause regarding personal
If a claim is made or a suit is brought against an insured
for damages because of bodily injury or property damage to
which this coverage applies, caused by an occurrence, we
1. pay up to our limit of liability for the damages for which
the insured is legally liable; and 2. provide a defense at
our expense by counsel of our choice. We may make any
investigation and settle any claim or suit that we decide is
appropriate. Our obligation to defend any claim or suit ends
when the amount we pay for damages, to effect settlement or
satisfy a judgment resulting from the occurrence, equals our
limit of liability.
(Doc. 24-3 at 38).
Policy specifically excludes from coverage any “bodily
injury or property damage arising out of ownership,
maintenance, use, loading or unloading of . . . a motor
vehicle owned or operated by or rented or loaned to any
insured.” (Id. at 40). The Policy's
definition of a “motor vehicle” includes “a
‘recreational vehicle' while off an ...