Watkins, Lourie, Roll & Chance, PC, recently won a significant case in the Georgia Supreme Court. The law firm fought for the right of a woman who was seriously injured in a truck accident to obtain compensation in an insurance dispute.
Pamela Sapp sued the driver of a dump truck and the trucking company for injuries she suffered when the dump truck hit her. She also filed a lawsuit against the trucking company's insurer.
The insurer, Canal Insurance Company, claimed that the accident was not covered under the trucking company's insurance policy. Canal argued that the accident took place outside the 50-mile "radius-of-use" limit in the basic automobile liability policy. It won at both trial and on appeal.
But Watkins, Lourie, Roll & Chance persisted, taking the case all the way to the Georgia Supreme Court.
The law firm argued that rather than issuing a basic automobile liability policy, Canal should have issued a motor carrier policy because the trucking company had been operating a dump truck. Thus, the Georgia Motor Carrier Act applied, not the radius-of-use limit found in basic automobile policies. Canal, therefore, could be required to compensate Pamela Sapp and her husband for damages arising from the accident.
The Georgia Supreme Court agreed. The Court explained that, even though the trucking company failed to obtain certain required permits, it was nonetheless a motor carrier; Canal was aware that the trucking company was a motor carrier when it issued its insurance policy and should have issued a motor carrier policy.
In its decision, the Georgia Supreme Court wrote that the purpose of the Georgia Motor Carrier Act is to protect the public. Irregularities in insurance coverage should not ultimately harm innocent people injured by negligent drivers.
Watkins, Lourie, Roll & Chance is pleased that the battle it fought for its injured client produced such positive results.