No UM coverage where vehicle was not being used for transportation OK law

In Bituminous Casualty v. Pollard, (unpublished), Pollard was injured while working on an oil well.  Pollard was using a rig truck which had been put into place to be used as a derrick.  Pollard was on the oil pump when he claimed the winch on the truck malfunctioned, causing injury.  The insurance company sued Pollard, claiming he was not entitled to coverage.  The trial court agreed and the Tenth Circuit affirmed. 

The insurance company claimed that Pollard was not occupying the vehicle, and that the vehicle was not being used for its transportation nature, thus precluding coverage.  The trial court found for the insurer on both issues, but the Tenth Circuit affirmed only on the grounds that the truck was not being used for transportation, thus, there was no coverage.

We conclude that the transportation-use requirement adopted by the Oklahoma Supreme Court in Sanders applies to a UM claim alleging an injury that arose out of the use of a motor vehicle, including when the injury also arose out of the ownership and/or maintenance of the vehicle, as Mr. Pollard alleged. And the requirement applies regardless of whether the insured is legally entitled to recover damages from the owner or the operator of the uninsured motor vehicle under § 3636(B). To be entitled to coverage under the UM Endorsement, Mr. Pollard was therefore required to show (1) that a use of the workover rig was connected to his injury and (2) that use was related to the transportation nature of the workover rig. See Sanders, 803 P.2d at 692.

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The steps taken by Mr. Pollard and his crew to transform the workover rig from a motor vehicle into a fixed derrick severed any causal connection between the transportation nature of the workover rig and Mr. Pollard’s injury. Accordingly, his injury was not within the coverage mandated by § 3636, and he was not covered under the UM Endorsement.

In addition, summary judgment was proper as to Pollard's bad faith claim against Bituminous. 

 

 

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