Tamara L. Novotny obtained complete dismissal of claims asserted against her client, a commercial trucking insurer, in a January 2019 Order. The case arose from an accident in which a truck driver suffered multiple fractures when an 1,800-pound hay bale fell off a trailer which was being loaded. Attorney Novotny initially obtained dismissal of a claim for uninsured motorist benefits brought against her client in the underlying lawsuit, but months later the driver reasserted a claim for no-fault benefits, which had been denied.
In a declaratory judgment action, the driver asserted a counterclaim and sought damages in excess of $1.6 million based on allegations the insurer wrongfully denied no-fault and medical benefits, breached its implied duty of good faith, and violated the consumer fraud act. The driver also entered into a Miller v. Shugart agreement with the man loading the trailer and, in turn, sought bodily injury liability coverage by claiming a provision in the insurer’s policy was void and unenforceable. The federal judge rejected the driver’s arguments and ruled in favor of Attorney Novotny’s client when deciding cross-motions for summary judgment.