United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Spartanburg Division
OPINION AND ORDER
MARVIN QUATTLEBAUM, JR. UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter is before the Court on the Motion to Dismiss or, in
the alternative, Motion for Judgment on the pleadings (ECF
No. 16) of Nationwide Affinity Insurance Company of America
(“Defendant”) and on the Motion for Summary
Judgment (ECF No. 24) of James Thao and Pa Vang
(“Plaintiffs”). Plaintiffs seek a declaration
from this Court that insurance coverage applies to an
automobile accident that occurred while Pa Vang was operating
a motor vehicle despite there being an endorsement on the
policy naming her as an excluded driver. Defendant's
motion seeks a declaration that the named driver exclusion
applies and that Defendant does not owe any coverage for
claims arising out of the accident. After the matter was
fully briefed, the Court held a hearing on May 4, 2018. At
the hearing, both parties agreed that there were no remaining
genuine issues of material fact when the affidavits and
exhibits filed in connection with the motions were
considered. After considering the written materials submitted
and the arguments of counsel, the Court grants the
Defendant's motion for judgment on the pleadings (ECF No.
16) and denies Plaintiffs' motion for summary judgment.
(ECF No. 24.)
to Plaintiffs' Complaint, on January 9, 2016, James Thao
applied for and purchased an auto insurance policy from
Defendant Nationwide through a local agent. (ECF No. 1-1 at
3, ¶ 4.) The application for the insurance policy was
prepared and signed by the agent. Id.
application contained information about household residents
and the identity of drivers. (ECF No. 26-1.) The application
indicated that Thao was married to Pa Vang, and, at the time,
Vang was unlicensed and had never had a license. (ECF No. 1-1
at 3, ¶ 5.)
also signed a named driver exclusion form titled
“Voiding Auto Insurance While Named Person Is Operating
Car.” (ECF No. 26-2.) The form provided in pertinent
With this endorsement, all coverages in your policy are not
in effect while PA Vang is operating any motor
This policy remains unchanged in all other respects.
As indicated by my signature, I James Thao accept
(X) The excluded person's driver's license has been
surrendered to the State Highway Department.
() The excluded person has obtained insurance or other
security to operate motor vehicles.
point, Pa Vang decided to apply for a license. On April 21,
2017, Pa Vang was taking the driving test with a DMV examiner
in her vehicle when she was involved in a motor vehicle
accident. (ECF No. 1-1 at 4, ¶¶ 10-12.) After the
accident, James Thao presented a claim for physical damage to
the motor vehicle and requested that Pa Vang be defended
against liability claims arising from the accident.
Id. at 4, ¶ 13. The claim was denied on the
grounds that Pa Vang was excluded as an insured. Id.
at 4, ¶ 14. Plaintiffs seek an Order from this Court
declaring the insurance agreement and endorsement to be null
and void and Defendant to be liable for the losses sustained
by Plaintiffs and finding that Plaintiffs are entitled to
actual and punitive damages.