Missouri Supreme Court Hands Down 2 Rulings Related to Missouri Uninsured Motorist Coverage Personal Injury Claims

Jason L. Rice v. Shelter Mutual Insurance Company, Missouri Supreme Court – SC90139

Ambiguities in insurance policies are construed in favor of the insured, this is because the insurance company is the one who drafted the policy and any ambiguities or mistakes must favor the insurer or victim as they did not draft the policy.

In the above mentioned Missouri Supreme Court case the court ruled that a Shelter Insurance Missouri auto policy excluding and including certain amounts or policy limits for total uninsured motorist coverage was ambiguous and therefore unenforceable. In one portion of the policy it guarantees additional coverage for Missouri uninsured motorist claims and then under another provision attempts to limit it.

For the full opinion regarding ambiguous UM policy provisions see Rice v Shelter.

Debra Derousse v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company, Missouri Supreme Court – SC90093.

Missouri Statute requires uninsured motorist coverage to cover damages caused by owners or operators of uninsured motor vehicles for “bodily injury, sickness, or disease” See Mo Statute 379.203.1

In the above Missouri Supreme Court case it was determined that mental injuries are included as the personal injury plaintiff’s lawyer plead that her mental injuries were a sickness under the Statute and the Court agreed that mental injury is a sickness.

This case stemmed from a St. Louis motor vehicle accident wherein a body was ejected from a car, his the Plaintiff’s windshield and rolled off and came to rest just outside her door. She opened the door and saw the dead body, additionally, she knew the victim which caused even more emotional distress. her emotional distress manifested itself into physical pain, loss of sleep, depression, nightmares, etc. The full Missouri personal injury uninsured motorist opinion.