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Mornay v. National Union Fire Insurance Co. of Pittsburgh, PA

Court of Appeals of Georgia

March 11, 2015

MORNAY et al.
v.
NATIONAL UNION FIRE INSURANCE COMPANY OF PITTSBURGH, P.A

Motor carriers. Fulton State Court. Before Judge Roth.

Judgment affirmed.

Burkey Law Firm, Frederick D. Burkey, for appellants.

Scrudder, Bass, Quillian, Horlock, Taylor & Lazarus, Matthew P. Lazarus, David C. Rhodes, for appellee.

MILLER, Judge. Doyle, P. J., and Dillard, J., concur.

OPINION

Page 808

Miller, Judge.

Kenneth Mornay, Sr., individually and as the administrator of the Estate of Sylvia Mornay, Sharon Marie Mornay Bright, and Karen Ann Thomas (collectively " the Plaintiffs" ) filed suit against Southeastrans, Inc. and its liability insurer, National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh, PA (" National Union" ), for claims arising out of Sylvia Mornay's death. The Plaintiffs named National Union as a party pursuant to OCGA § 40-1-112, which allows plaintiffs to file a direct action against the insurers of motor carriers. National Union moved for summary judgment on the ground that the relevant vehicle fell within an exemption to the motor carrier definition under OCGA § 40-1-100 (12) (B) (vii). The trial court granted National Union's motion. The Plaintiffs appeal, contending that the trial court erred in concluding that the subject vehicle was exempt from the definition of a motor carrier. For the reasons that follow, we affirm.

To prevail at summary judgment, the moving party must demonstrate that there is no genuine issue of material fact and that the undisputed facts, viewed in the nonmovant's favor, warrant judgment as a matter of law. We review de novo a trial court's [grant or] denial of summary judgment, construing the evidence in a light most favorable to the nonmoving party.

( Footnotes omitted.) Occidental Fire & Cas. Co. of North Carolina v. Johnson, 302 Ga.App. 677 (691 S.E.2d 589) (2010).

So viewed, the evidence shows that the Department of Community Health (" DCH" ) contracted with Southeastrans to act as a broker of non-emergency medical transportation to Medicaid members in Georgia. In turn, Southeastrans contracted with Samuel Maddy d/b/a Drop-4-Care Transportation to provide transportation services pursuant to Southeastrans's DCH contract.

On April 19, 2010, Southeastrans dispatched a Drop-4-Care van to transport Sylvia Mornay from her nursing home to a medical appointment. During transport, the Drop-4-Care van, a 2002 Ford Ecoline E-350, stopped abruptly, causing Mornay to flip over in her wheel chair, resulting in injuries that ultimately led to her death. At the time of the accident, National Union provided automobile liability insurance to Southeastrans.

Page 809

[331 Ga.App. 113] The Plaintiffs sued Southeastrans and its insurers, including National Union. The trial court granted summary judgment to National Union, finding that the Plaintiffs could not bring a direct action against National Union under OCGA ยง 40-1-112 because the Drop-4-Care van fell within an ...


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