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Famers Insurance Company of Arizona v. Martinez

United States District Court, D. New Mexico

July 17, 2017

FARMERS INSURANCE COMPANY OF ARIZONA and FOREMOST INSURANCE COMPANY, Plaintiffs,
v.
CINDY MARTINEZ, as PERSONAL REPRESENTATIVE OF THE ESTATE OF RAYMOND MARTINEZ, Deceased, Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          M. CHRISTINA ARMIJO Chief United States District Judge.

         THIS MATTER is before the Court on a Motion for Summary Judgment filed by Farmers Insurance Company of Arizona (FICA) and Foremost Insurance Company (Foremost) (collectively, Plaintiffs). [Doc. 21] The Court has considered the parties' submissions and the relevant law, and is otherwise fully informed. For the following reasons, the Court DENIES Plaintiffs' Motion.

         I. Background

         FICA and Foremost filed a Complaint for Declaration of Rights Under Insurance Policy, seeking declaratory judgment on “whether, and to what extent, Cindy Martinez, as Personal Representative of the Estate of Raymond Martinez, deceased, is entitled to uninsured motorist coverage under [several] policies” issued by FICA and Foremost. [Doc. 1] Plaintiffs now move for summary judgment to the effect that Raymond Martinez, Sr., Decedent, was not a “resident” of the insured's households and, therefore, not insured under their policies. [Doc. 21]

         The parties do not dispute the following facts. Decedent was killed in a motor vehicle accident. His son, Raymond Martinez, Jr., was driving and was uninsured. [Doc. 21, UMF 1-3; Doc. 22, pg. 6] Decedent was married to Concha Martinez (Concha), and had three daughters-Cindy Martinez, Connie Martinez, and Annabelle Martinez-as well as another son. [Doc. 21, UMF 6, 29, 38; Doc. 22, pg. 6] Decedent, Concha, and Cindy lived together in Chimayo, New Mexico. [Doc. 21, UMF 7; Doc. 22, pg. 6] Connie lived with her husband, an aunt-in-law, and one of her children in a mobile home with three bedrooms in Chimayo. [Doc. 21, UMF 9-10, 34; Doc. 22, pg. 6] Annabelle lived with her two children in Velarde, New Mexico, in a three-bedroom house. [Doc. 21, UMF 9-10, 36; Doc. 22, pg. 6]

         At the time of the accident, both Decedent and Concha were experiencing poor health. Decedent was receiving dialysis three times each week and traveled to Espanola for the dialysis treatments. [Doc. 21, UMF 28; Doc. 22, pg. 6] Decedent, Concha, and Cindy would stay overnight at either Connie's or Annabelle's home after Decedent received dialysis treatment. [Doc. 21, UMF 29; Doc. 22, pg. 6; Doc. 23, pg. 2] Decedent stayed with each daughter at least one time each week. [Id.] When Decedent stayed with Connie or Annabelle, he would sleep in one of their daughters' rooms. [Doc. 21, UMF 33, 35; Doc. 22, pg. 6] Decedent kept some personal items, such as clothes and toiletries, in Connie's and Annabelle's homes. [Doc. 21, UMF 37; Doc. 22, pg. 6] Concha suffered a stroke roughly three months prior to the accident, and after that the frequency of Decedent's stays with Connie and Annabelle grew more “consistent[].” [Doc. 21, UMF 40, 41; Doc. 22, pg. 6] However, Decedent and Concha had not made plans to move away from their home in Chimayo. [Doc. 21, UMF 55-57; Doc. 22, pg. 7]

         At the time of the accident, Connie and/or her husband and Annabelle held several insurance policies issued by FICA and Foremost covering various vehicles they owned. [Doc. 21, UMF 15-21; Doc. 22, pg. 6] The FICA policies included an “uninsured motorist coverage” clause that read

We will pay all sums which an insured person is legally entitled to recover as damages from the owner or operator of an uninsured motor vehicle because of: (a) bodily injury sustained by the insured person. The bodily injury must be caused by accident and arise out of the ownership, maintenance or use of the uninsured motor vehicle . . .
2. Insured person means:
a. You or a family member.

[Doc. 21, UMF 23; Doc. 22, pg. 6] “Family member” is defined as “a person related to you by blood, marriage or adoption who is a resident of your household.” [Doc. 21, UMF 24; Doc. 22, pg. 6]

         Similarly, the Foremost policy included an “uninsured motorist coverage” clause that read

We will pay compensatory damages which an “insured” is legally entitled to recover from the owner or operator of an “uninsured motor vehicle” because of “bodily injury”: 1. Sustained by an “insured” while “occupying” “your covered auto”; and 2. Caused by an accident . . .
“Insured” as used in this Part means: . . . 2. Any “Family member” while “occupying” ...

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