Dismissal of County Employee's Injury Suit for UM Benefits Affirmed by Eastern Section Based on Self Insured Status

DENNIS MICHAEL HARRIS, ET UX. v. MICKEY DEANNE HAYNES, ET AL.
Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys:

David A. Stuart, Clinton, Tennessee, for the appellants, Dennis Michael Harris and Judy A. Harris.

Jonathan Swann Taylor, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Tennessee Risk Management Trust.

Judge: SWINEY

This appeal concerns whether certain exclusions in a coverage document are permissible. Dennis Michael Harris (“Harris”), then a patrolman with the Anderson County Sheriff’s Department, was injured when he was struck by a vehicle driven by Mickey Deanne Haynes (“Haynes”). Harris and his wife, Judy A. Harris, (collectively, “the Plaintiffs”) sued Haynes and the alleged owner of the vehicle, Richard H. Furrow, in the Circuit Court for Anderson County (“the Trial Court”). The Plaintiffs also raised claims against Anderson County’s motor vehicle liability coverage provider, Tennessee Risk Management Trust (“TRMT”), for uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage. TRMT filed a motion for summary judgment, arguing that under the relevant coverage document (“the Coverage Document”), Harris was excluded from uninsured coverage as he was an employee of Anderson County who had received workers compensation. The Trial Court granted TRMT’s motion. The Plaintiffs appeal. We hold that Anderson County was self-insured through TRMT, and, therefore, the uninsured/underinsured motorist statutes do not apply. The Coverage Document excluded employees such as Harris from uninsured coverage. We affirm.

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