Jackson O’Keefe Partners Obtain Favorable Judgment in Court Trial Regarding Insurance Coverage

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The trial court concludes that no insurance coverage exists based on a finding that the driver took the vehicle without permission

Attorney Joseph M. Busher, Jr.

We are pleased with the ruling, and believe the Court carefully sifted through the evidence to determine the facts

Attorneys Philip R. Dunn, Jr., of Farmington and Joseph M. Busher, Jr., of East Haddam recently obtained a favorable judgment in a court trial regarding insurance coverage issues, Connecticut Superior Court Docket No. MMX-CV-12-6007412-S.

According to the amended complaint dated March 11, 2013, the case arose out of a motor vehicle accident that occurred on October 22, 2011. According to the complaint, the two primary issues in the case were whether the driver of the vehicle was using the non-owned vehicle with permission and whether the driver qualified as an insured on an excess policy. The Complaint alleged that the motor vehicle accident occurred shortly after the vehicle involved was taken without permission.

As documented in the trial transcripts, the evidence presented in Court on March 12, 2013 conflicted with regard to the issue of permission, with the driver claiming that permission had been given and the owner and possessor of the vehicle denying that. The transcript of March 12, 2013 further showed that the accident occurred after the driver had been driving in an erratic fashion on I-84 and subsequently struck a State Police Cruiser pulling out from a divider with its overhead lights activated.

In its Memorandum of Decision dated April 4, 2013, the trial court concluded that the testimony of the driver was not credible, based upon internal inconsistencies as to when permission was allegedly granted, a conflict between one sworn statement and another and his denial in the second sworn statement of statements in the first sworn statement. (Ruling, pp. 2-3) The court further concluded that the owner’s testimony denying giving a grant of permission was credible, citing no friendship between the owner and the driver prior to the night of the accident. (Pp. 4-5)

“We are pleased with the ruling, and believe the Court carefully sifted through the evidence to determine the facts. The driver simply lacked credibility, and there was no reason the owner of the vehicle would let a new acquaintance take the vehicle under the circumstances of this case,” said Attorney Busher.

The lawyers at Jackson O'Keefe, in Hartford, represent clients throughout Connecticut in a wide array of coverage disputes. The firm represents many major insurance carriers as well as individuals, filing declaratory judgment actions, drafting coverage opinions, and handling bad faith denial claims. Jackson O'Keefe is dedicated to the practice of insurance law. Our mission is to provide all clients with prompt, innovative and cost-effective solutions to insurance claims and litigation, while adhering to the highest professional standards. The firm has extensive experience investigating, researching, analyzing, and litigating insurance coverage disputes. Founded by a former commissioner of the Connecticut Insurance Department, the firm handles extra-contractual claims, coverage analysis and litigation, as well as regulation and lobbying matters related to the insurance industry. The law related to bad faith and unfair insurance practice claims is a continually developing area in Connecticut and nationally. Subrogation, assignment, and a host of equitable issues may be involved as well. The attorneys at Jackson O'Keefe have the experience and capabilities to navigate through these areas to a successful resolution. The firm also provides experienced insurance defense counsel to companies throughout the area.

Jackson O’Keefe is a general practice law firm of attorneys serving West Hartford, Wethersfield, Farmington, East Haddam, Southington and surrounding areas. The firm provides a broad spectrum of legal services to area residents and businesses, with the goal of providing the highest quality advocacy and counsel in a cost-effective manner. Jackson O’Keefe is one of Connecticut’s oldest and most respected law firms and is known for its aggressive representation, with extensive experience in accident claims involving personal injury, as well as divorce, real estate and wills, probate and estate planning. The firm manages cases carefully to minimize expense and protect the interests of its clients. The firm has represented individuals and businesses throughout the area for over 50 years and is AV-rated under Martindale-Hubbell’s Peer Review Rating Process. The Law Offices of Jackson O’Keefe is also recognized in the Bar Register of Preeminent Attorneys, and several of the firm’s partners have been recognized as Connecticut Super Lawyers.

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