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Alfa Vision Insurance Corp. v. Amaya-Mata

United States District Court, W.D. Arkansas, Fort Smith Division

March 7, 2018

ALFA VISION INSURANCE CORPORATION PLAINTIFF
v.
ADELE AMAYA-MATA; GERMAN MORA; CASTRULO ROBLES, Individually and as Parent and Guardian of O. M.; CENTENNIAL BANK TRUST DEPARTMENT, as Personal Representative of the Estate of Yair Garza, deceased; FEDERICO ALVARADO; VALENTINO URIBE; CHRISTIAN F. MOYA; CLAUDIA SALINAS, Individually and as Parent and Guardian of G. A.; STATE FARM FIRE & CASUALTY COMPANY DEFENDANTS

          MAGISTRATE JUDGE'S REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

          HONORABLE MARK E. FORD UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

         Presently before the Court is the Second Motion for Default Judgment (ECF No. 49) filed on February 5, 2018 by Plaintiff, Alfa Vision Insurance Company (“Alfa”), and the Amended Second Motion for Default Judgment (ECF No. 53) filed by Alfa on February 22, 2018. The motions were referred to the undersigned on February 22 and 28, 2018, respectively, and they are ready for report and recommendation.

         I. Background

         Alfa filed its Complaint for Declaratory Judgment on April 26, 2017. (ECF No. 1). As the complaint improperly included information that should have been redacted under Fed.R.Civ.P. 5.2, the Court entered an Order (ECF No. 5) striking the complaint and directing the Plaintiff to file an amended complaint, properly redacted in compliance with Rule 5.2. Alfa filed its Amended Complaint for Declaratory Judgment (ECF No. 7) on April 27, 2017.

         Alfa, an Alabama corporation authorized to do business in Arkansas, alleges that it issued an Arkansas private passenger automobile policy of insurance, Policy No. 11-03-007659951, to its named insured, Separate Defendant Adele Amaya-Mata (“Mata”), with a policy period of July 7, 2016 through January 7, 2017, insuring a 1994 Honda Accord LX, VIN No. J8CD5636RCO94816. (ECF No. 7, ¶ 12). Alfa alleges that on September 3, 2016 Mata's son, Separate Defendant German Mora (“Mora”), who was then a minor and has since reached the age of majority, and who was then a resident of Mata's household, was involved in a motor vehicle accident while driving the insured vehicle. (Id., ¶ 13). Mora, it is alleged, did not have a valid, in force, operator's license or permit at the time of the motor vehicle accident. (Id., ¶ 14). The motor vehicle accident occurred when Mora, who was fleeing from an Arkansas State Police Trooper on Midland Boulevard in Fort Smith, Sebastian County, Arkansas, at a high rate of speed, lost control of the insured vehicle and crashed into multiple other vehicles, as well as a home. (Id., ¶ 15). As a result of the motor vehicle accident, damage was caused to the insured vehicle, as well as to motor vehicles owned by Separate Defendant Federico Alvarado (“Alvarado”), Separate Defendant Valentino Uribe (“Uribe”), and Separate Defendant Christian Moya (“Moya”). (Id., ¶ 16).

         Damage was also done to a home owned by Separate Defendant Claudia Salinas (“Salinas”) located at 4239 Wirsing Avenue, Fort Smith, Arkansas. (Id., ¶ 17). Salinas and G. A., a minor, were injured when the insured vehicle collided into the vehicles of Alvarado, Uribe and Moya, causing them to impact Salinas' home, resulting in interior damage to the home, including the room in which Salinas and G. A. were sleeping. (Id., ¶ 18). Separate Defendant O. M. and Separate Defendant Yair Garza, deceased, were passengers in the insured vehicle at the time of the accident, and they suffered injuries and underwent medical treatment, resulting in medical bills being incurred. (Id., ¶¶ 19, 20).

         Based on exclusionary language contained in the subject policy of insurance, Alfa contends there is no coverage under its policy of insurance issued to Mata for any bodily injury or property damage proximately caused by the motor vehicle accident. (Id., ¶ 21). More specifically, Alfa contends that Mora was not listed as a driver or operator on Mata's application for the policy (Id., ¶ 23), and that Mora was operating the insured vehicle at the time of the accident without a valid, in force, operator's license or permit and, per the terms of the policy, he had no reasonable belief of entitlement to do so (Id., ¶ 24).

         Pursuant to A.C.A. §§ 16-111-101, et. seq., and Fed.R.Civ.P. 57, Alfa seeks a declaratory judgment that there is no coverage under its policy of insurance for any bodily injury or property damage sustained by any party arising out of the September 3, 2016 motor vehicle accident, and Alfa further seeks a declaratory judgment that there is no duty on its part to provide a defense and/or indemnity to any party, including but not limited to, Mora and/or Mata, in the event any civil suit is filed against them. (Id., ¶ 27).

Service of process was obtained on the Defendants as follows:
Mata was served on May 9, 2017. (ECF No. 9).
Separate Defendant Castrulo Robles was served on May 9, 2017. (ECF No's. 10, 11).
Moya was served on May 9, 2017. (ECF No. 12).
Salinas was served on May 9, 2017. (ECF No's. ...

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