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American Southern Home Insurance Co. v. Goodale

United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Columbia Division

August 17, 2016

American Southern Home Insurance Company, Plaintiff,
v.
Lloyd R. Goodale, Sr., Lloyd R. Goodale, Jr., Patricia M. Kimball, Defendants.

          OPINION AND ORDER GRANTING MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT

          CAMERON MCGOWAN CURRIE, Senior United States District Judge.

         Through this action, Plaintiff, American Southern Home Insurance Company (“American Southern”), seeks a declaratory judgment that it has no obligation to defend or indemnify Defendants, Lloyd R. Goodale, Sr. (“Goodale, Sr.”) and Lloyd R. Goodale, Jr. (“Sonny”) (collectively “Goodales”), for claims arising from a golf-cart accident (“Accident”) in which Defendant Patricia M. Kimball (“Kimball”) was injured. Those claims are now pending in Kimball v. Goodale, SC Com. Pl. Case No. 2016-CP-46-749 (“Underlying Action”).

         The matter is before the court on American Southern’s motion for summary judgment. For the reasons set forth below, the motion is granted.

         STANDARD

         Summary judgment should be granted 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.Civ.P. 56(a). It is well established that summary judgment should be granted “only when it is clear that there is no dispute concerning either the facts of the controversy or the inferences to be drawn from those facts.” Pulliam Inv. Co. v. Cameo Properties, 810 F.2d 1282, 1286 (4th Cir. 1987). The party moving for summary judgment has the burden of showing the absence of a genuine issue of material fact, and the court must view the evidence before it and the inferences to be drawn therefrom in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party. United States v. Diebold, Inc., 369 U.S. 654, 655 (1962).

         Rule 56(c)(1) provides as follows:

(1) A party asserting that a fact cannot be or is genuinely disputed must support the assertion by:
(A) citing to particular parts of materials in the record, including depositions, documents, electronically stored information, affidavits or declarations, stipulations . . ., admissions, interrogatory answers or other materials; or
(b) showing that the materials cited do not establish the absence or presence of a genuine dispute, or that an adverse party cannot produce admissible evidence to support the fact.

Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(c)(1).

         FACTS[1]

         On April 4, 2015, Kimball broke several bones and suffered other injuries when she was ejected from a golf cart driven by Sonny and owned by his father, Goodale, Sr. Kimball alleges Sonny is liable for her injuries because he was driving under the influence of alcohol and the accident was caused by his reckless driving. Underlying Action, Compl. ¶¶ 23-25. She alleges Goodale Sr. is liable on a variety of grounds including that he failed to secure the golf cart to prevent Sonny from using it despite Goodale, Sr.’s knowledge of Sonny’s history of alcohol abuse, alcohol-related suspension of his driver’s license, and propensity for driving the golf cart at night to a local bar. Underlying Action, Compl. ¶¶ 16, 18, 31.

         For purposes of this motion, it is undisputed the Goodales were, at the time of the Accident, “insureds” under a Manufactured Home Insurance Policy (“Policy”) issued by American Southern to Goodale, Sr. ECF No. 31-1 at 2. It is also undisputed for purposes of this motion that “Goodale, ...


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