United States District Court, D. New Mexico
HELEN BHASKER, on behalf of herself and all others similarly situated, Plaintiff,
FINANCIAL INDEMNITY COMPANY, Defendant.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
RIGGS, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
MATTER is before the Court on Defendant's Motion to Stay
filed March 22, 2019 (Doc. 113). In this
putative class action, Plaintiff alleges that Defendant
misrepresented the terms of her underinsured motorist
coverage and that the coverage it sold her is illusory. For
the reasons stated below, the Court GRANTS
Plaintiff's Motion to Stay pending an answer by the New
Mexico Supreme Court to the question certified in
Crutcher v. Liberty Mutual Insurance Co.,
1:18-cv-412 JCH/LF (D.N.M.). Moreover, the pending Motion to
Certify Class Action (Doc. 128) and Motion
for Summary Judgment (Docs. 134 and 135) are
DENIED WITHOUT PREJUDICE. The parties may
refile these motions, if appropriate, after the New Mexico
Supreme Court answers the certified question and the stay is
alleges she was injured in a June 24, 2015 accident with an
underinsured motorist. Plaintiff was covered by an auto
insurance policy issued by Defendant. Plaintiff carried
insurance at New Mexico's minimum amounts, which provide
bodily injury coverage of $25, 000 per person and $50, 000
per accident. She also purchased uninsured/underinsured
(UM/UIM) motorist coverage in the same amounts.
received the full extent of the at-fault driver's
liability coverage, $25, 000. She sought coverage under her
own minimum-level uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.
Defendant denied coverage, because it offset the $25, 000 she
received from the at-fault driver against her underinsured
motorist coverage of $25, 000. (Doc. 12, ¶ 44).
alleges that Defendant misled her or failed to inform her
that underinsured motorist coverage, when purchased at the
minimum level, is “illusory.” She alleges that
“a purchase of 25/50 underinsured coverage, when
triggered by a crash with a tortfeasor who has 25/50 bodily
injury liability limits, will result in a payment of premium
for which no payment of benefits will ever occur and
therefore violated plaintiff and other insureds reasonable
expectations of benefiting from underinsured coverage.”
(Doc. 12, ¶ 48.).
First Amended Complaint (Doc. 12), Plaintiff asserted the
Count I: Negligence;
Count II: Violation of the New Mexico Unfair Trade Practices
Count III: Violation of the New Mexico Unfair Insurance
Count IV: Breach of Contract and Claim for Underinsured
Count V: Breach of the Covenant of Good Faith and Fair
Count VI: Injunctive Relief;
Count VII: Declaratory ...