As a result of a collision between a car and a motorcycle, a lawsuit was filed in which a judgment was rendered in favor of the motorcycle driver and his passenger and against the driver of the car for bodily injuries and property damage. A garnishment action was subsequently filed against the car driver’s insurance company for liability insurance policy limits in the amount of $25,000.00 for each of the two people riding on the motorcycle.
The driver of the car was precluded from coverage under the car owner’s insurance policy which contained a named driver exclusion. As a result of the exclusion, the insurance company claimed exemption from garnishment. The trial court awarded summary judgment to the motorcycle passenger for the minimum amount of liability coverage required by law finding that the named driver exclusion left an innocent third-party without insurance coverage, thereby violating Oklahoma public policy. The insurance company appealed.
The Oklahoma Court of Civil Appeals reversed the trial court’s ruling holding that the Oklahoma insurance statutes allow named driver exclusions and that the Oklahoma Supreme Court continuously expresses the validity of the named driver exclusion. Therefore, based on the validity of the named driver exclusion, no coverage was available to the motorcycle passenger under the car owner’s insurance policy. Rodriguez, et al. v. Gutierrez-Perez, et al., 273 P.3d 69, 2012 OK CIV APP 14.
This area of law continues to evolve and change as the legislature revises and changes the Oklahoma statutes and the courts continue to interpret and articulate Oklahoma law.