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Arch Insurance Co. v. Harris

United States District Court, N.D. Oklahoma

May 7, 2019

ARCH INSURANCE COMPANY, Plaintiff / Counterclaim Defendant,
v.
LINDA HARRIS, Personal Representative of the Estate of Randall Lee Harris, Defendant / Counterclaim Plaintiff, AND COURTNEY ELYSE SHILLINGTON, Personal Representative of the Estate of Dale Bryant Shillington, Interested Party / Counterclaim Plaintiff.

          OPINION AND ORDER

          CLAIRE V. EAGAN, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Now before the Court are plaintiff/counterclaim defendant Arch Insurance Company's motion for summary judgment and brief in support (Dkt. # 22); the motion for summary judgment and brief in support (Dkt. # 35) filed by interested-party/counterclaim plaintiff Courtney Elyse Shillington, Personal Representative of the Estate of Dale Bryant Shillington; and the motion for summary judgment and brief in support (Dkt. # 36) filed by defendant/counterclaim plaintiff Linda Harris, Personal Representative of the Estate of Randall Lee Harris.

         Arch filed this action against Harris and Shillington, seeking a declaration that the terms of an insurance policy, issued by Arch to Randall Harris (Mr. Harris), limit to $100, 000 Arch's obligation to indemnify the Harris estate for all damages, if any, owed to the Shillington estate. Dkt. # 2, at 6-7. Harris and Shillington each filed a counterclaim against Arch, seeking a declaration that the terms of the policy limit to $1, 000, 000 Arch's obligation to indemnify the Harris estate for all damages, if any, owed to the Shillington estate. Dkt. # 11, at 12; Dkt. # 14, at 2-3. Arch moved for summary judgment (Dkt. # 22), and Shillington and Harris each filed a response in opposition to Arch's motion (Dkt. ## 32, 34). Shillington then moved for summary judgment (Dkt. # 35). Arch filed a response in opposition to Shillington's motion (Dkt. # 39), and Shillington filed a reply (Dkt. # 42). Finally, Harris moved for summary judgment (Dkt. # 36), and Arch filed a response in opposition to Harris's motion (Dkt. # 43).

         I.

         For purposes of the motions for summary judgment, the following facts are undisputed by all parties:

         On July 21, 2016, Mr. Harris and 1st Lt. Dale Bryant Shillington (Lt. Shillington) died in an aircraft accident. Dkt. # 22, at 2. Mr. Harris and Lt. Shillington were in a Skybolt 300 aerobatic aircraft owned by Mr. Harris. Id. Defendant Linda Harris is the surviving spouse and personal representative of the estate of Mr. Harris. Id. Interested-party Courtney Elyse Shillington is the surviving spouse and personal representative of the estate of Lt. Shillington. Id. Lt. Shillington was also survived by his parents, Kevin and Sue Shillington. Id. at 3. Interested-party Shillington commenced a wrongful death lawsuit, individually and as the personal representative and widow of Lt. Shillington, against the Harris estate in the District Court for Garfield County, Oklahoma, No. CJ-2018-162-01. Id. The Shillington estate contends that Mr. Harris is legally responsible for Lt. Shillington's death, and the Harris estate denies liability. Id. At the time of the aircraft accident, there was in full force and effect Policy NVAVP00834-00, with a policy period of 12/26/15 to 12/26/16, which had been issued to Mr. Harris by Arch (“the policy”). Id. The policy provides Aircraft Hull and Liability insurance coverage. Id.

         Although the parties dispute the proper interpretation of the policy, it is undisputed that the policy contains the following provisions:

Under SECTION II - BODILY INJURY AND PROPERTY DAMAGE LIABILITY COVERAGE . . . Damages because of Bodily Injury include damages claimed by any person or organization for care, loss of services or death resulting at any time from the Bodily Injury. . . .
A. BODILY INJURY AND PROPERTY DAMAGE LIABILITY COVERAGE
4. Coverage G - Single Limit Bodily Injury and Property Damage Liability
We will pay all sums an Insured legally must pay as damages because of Bodily Injury sustained by any person (excluding any Passenger unless the words “including Passengers” appear in Item 9 of the Declarations) and Property Damage caused by an Occurrence and arising out of the:
a. Ownership, maintenance or use of the Aircraft; or
b. Maintenance or use of the Premises.

Dkt. # 2-2, at 8-9 (emphasis in original).

         Item 9 of the Declarations, as referenced in Section II.A.4 of the policy, contains ...


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