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2004-UP-345 - Huggins v. Ericson

THIS OPINION HAS NO PRECEDENTIAL VALUE.  IT SHOULD NOT BE CITED OR RELIED ON AS PRECEDENT IN ANY PROCEEDING EXCEPT AS PROVIDED BY RULE 239(d)(2), SCACR.

THE STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA
In The Court of Appeals

Jean Huggins and David Lindsay, as Personal Representative of the Estate of John C. Lindsay, Jr., deceased, Appellant,

v.

Bruce A. Ericson and South Carolina Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Company, Respondent.


Appeal From Marlboro County
 John M. Milling, Circuit Court Judge


Unpublished Opinion No. 2004-UP-345
Submitted May 12, 2004 – Filed May 25, 2004


AFFIRMED


Arthur K. Aiken and Howard Hammer, both of Columbia, for Appellant.

Louis D. Nettles, of Florence and T. Eugene Allen, of Columbia, for Respondents.

PER CURIAM:  John C. Lindsay, Jr. died as a result of an accident that occurred when his motorcycle collided with a truck driven by Bruce A. Ericson. Lindsay’s estate sought to stack the additional underinsured motorist coverage from Lindsay’s Farm Bureau insurance policies covering two other vehicles he owned.  Each of the Farm Bureau policies provided $250,000 in underinsured motorist coverage.  Farm Bureau paid Lindsay’s estate $100,000 under each policy, totaling $200,000.  The personal representative of Lindsay’s estate brought a declaratory judgment seeking a determination that Farm Bureau was liable for the full amount of the underinsured motorist coverage on each policy, totaling $500,000.  The circuit court granted summary judgment in favor of Farm Bureau, finding the available underinsured motorist coverage on each policy was limited to the amount of coverage Lindsay carried on the vehicle involved in the accident, in this case $100,000.

Lindsay’s estate appeals arguing that the available underinsured motorist coverage was not so limited because of ambiguities in the Farm Bureau policy or, alternatively, because Lindsay bargained for additional coverage.  We affirm [1] pursuant to Rule 220, SCACR, and the following authorities:  S.C. Code Ann. § 38-77-160 (2002 and Supp. 2003); Lanham v. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of South Carolina, 349 S.C. 356, 361, 563 S.E.2d 331, 333 (2002) (finding that a grant of summary judgment will be affirmed on appeal when there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and the moving party is entitled to a judgment as a matter of law); South Carolina Farm Bureau Mut. Ins. Co. v. Mooneyham, 304 S.C. 442, 446, 405 S.E.2d 396, 398 (1991) (“[W]e interpret the pertinent language of the statute as setting a cap on the amount which can be stacked; the amount of coverage which may be stacked from policies on vehicles not involved in an accident is limited to an amount no greater than the coverage on the vehicle involved in the accident.”); Nationwide Mut. Ins. Co. v. Howard, 288 S.C. 5, 12, 339 S.E.2d 501, 504 (1985) (“Pertinent provisions of the uninsured motorist statutes which are absent from the policy language prevail as much as if expressly incorporated in the policy.”); State Farm Mut. Auto Ins. Co. v. Gunning, 340 S.C. 526, 529, 532 S.E.2d 16, 17 (Ct. App. 2000) (“[Section 38-77-160] applies to every policy as if embodied therein, and inconsistent policy provisions are void.”).

AFFIRMED

HEARN, C.J., STILWELL, J., and CURETON, AJ., concur.


[1] We affirm this case without oral argument pursuant to Rule 215, SCACR.