United States District Court, E.D. Arkansas, Eastern Division
STATE FARM AUTOMOBILE INSURANCE CO. PLAINTIFF
GRANT LONG, JR. and RALPH MATARAZZO DEFENDANTS
OPINION AND ORDER
Kristine G. Baker United States District Judge.
the Court is plaintiff State Farm Automobile Insurance
Co.'s (“State Farm”) motion for summary
judgment (Dkt. No. 41). Defendant Ralph Matarazzo has
responded in opposition to the motion for summary judgment
(Dkt. No. 46). Defendant Grant Long, Jr. has not responded; a
default was previously entered against Mr. Long in this
matter (Dkt. No. 23). For the following reasons, the Court
grants the motion for summary judgment (Dkt. No. 41).
Matarazzo asserts that Mr. Long was driving a vehicle insured
by State Farm when an accident occurred on May 5, 2015, in
St. Francis County, Arkansas (Dkt No. 1, ¶ 5). Both Mr.
Long and Mr. Matarazzo were served personally with the
summons and complaint on April 27, 2015 (Dkt. Nos. 3, 4). Mr.
Matarazzo filed his answer on June 2, 2015 (Dkt. No. 6). On
May 16, 2016, counsel for Mr. Matarazzo filed with the Court
a notice of Mr. Long's discharge in bankruptcy (Dkt. No.
21). Mr. Long is in default in this matter and has not
appeared since the Clerk's entry of default (Dkt. No.
Matarazzo filed a motion to stay discovery and appoint
counsel for Mr. Long (Dkt. No. 31). The Court denied that
motion (Dkt. No. 52).
following facts are taken from State Farm's statement of
undisputed facts unless otherwise indicated (Dkt. No. 43). In
Mr. Matarazzo's statement of facts, he states that
“[Mr.] Matarazzo does not believe the substantive facts
in the case are disputed. The facts surrounding the issuance
of the policy and the underlying accident are agreed by the
parties to this action. The disputes arise in the ambiguity,
interpretation, and meaning of the terms of the insurance
contract at issue.” (Dkt. No. 49, ¶ 1).
Farm issued an automobile liability insurance policy, policy
number 257 6126-F24-04A (“the Policy”), to
Sedrick Hicks and Ashiya Hudson with a policy period of
December 2, 2013, to June 24, 2014 (Dkt. No. 41, Ex. A). Mr.
Hicks and Ms. Hudson were current on all premiums owed under
the Policy for the policy period. The named insureds for the
Policy were Mr. Hicks and Ms. Hudson. The vehicle listed on
the Declarations Page of the Policy was a 2007 Infiniti QX56.
Long was involved in a motor/vehicle pedestrian accident with
Mr. Matarazzo on May 5, 2014, in St. Francis County,
Arkansas. The motor/vehicle pedestrian accident between Mr.
Long and Mr. Matarazzo occurred while Mr. Long was operating
and transporting the 2007 Infiniti QX56 with Ms. Hudson's
consent and permission in the course and scope of his
employment as owner of Grant's Car Wash. Mr. Matarazzo
has filed a civil suit against Mr. Long in the Circuit Court
of St. Francis County, Arkansas, case number 62CV-2014-217-2,
seeking monetary damages for alleged bodily injuries he
sustained as a result of the May 5, 2014, motor
to the “Insuring Agreement” in the Policy, State
Farm agreed to pay:
a. damages an insured becomes legally liable to pay
(1) bodily injury to others; and
(2) damage to property
caused by an accident that involves a vehicle for which that
insured is provided Liability Coverage by this
(Dkt. No. 41-1, at 11).
“Insured” is defined in the Policy in pertinent
3. Any other person for his or her use of:
a. your car,
b. a newly acquired car,
c. a temporary substitute car, or
d. a trailer while attached to a car
described in a., b., or c. above.
Such vehicle must be used within the scope of your
consent. . . .
(Id. at 10-11).
Your is defined in pertinent part in the Policy as “the
named insured or named insured shown on the Declarations
Page.” (Id. at 10).
are various enumerated “Exclusions” in the Policy
regarding coverage provided to an
“insured.” One of the Exclusions
precludes liability coverage for an insured:
8. WHILE MAINTAINING OR USING THE VEHICLE IN CONNECTION WITH
THAT INSURED'S EMPLOYMENT IN OR ENGAGEMENT OF ANY KIND IN
A CAR BUSINESS.
(Id., at 12).
Policy, the term “car business” is defined as
“a business or job where the purpose is to sell, lease,
rent, repair, service, modify, transport, store, or park land