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TURNER v. CHURCH MUT. INS. CO.

August 1, 1995

DORSEN TURNER
v.
CHURCH MUTUAL INSURANCE COMPANY



The opinion of the court was delivered by: J. WILLIAM DITTER, JR.

 DITTER, J.

 August 1, 1995

 Plaintiff has brought suit against an insurance company alleging that it has acted in bad faith in refusing to settle her claim for uninsured motorist coverage. Because plaintiff has failed to state a cause of action, I will grant the defendant's motion to dismiss.

 In an 89-paragraph complaint supported by nine exhibits, plaintiff, Dorsen Turner, alleges that she was a passenger in a van owned by the AME Zion Church, Baltimore, Maryland, when it was involved in an automobile accident in North Carolina. The defendant in this case, Church Mutual Insurance Company, provided liability insurance and underinsured motorist coverage to AME Zion.

 Plaintiff asserts in her complaint that Mr. Moaney "... was unable to stop his vehicle or prevent the impact between the two vehicles, as the result of operating the church van at a speed which was unsafe for the conditions of the road upon which he was operating. The negligent, careless and reckless, wanton and willful loss of control of the church van by Church Mutual insured driver, Emanuel Edwin Moaney, Jr., caused the impact between the two vehicles and further, caused the Plaintiff, Dorsen Turner, to sustain severe, permanent, and serious injuries as more fully set forth herein."

 The complaint goes on, "Solely by reason of the negligence, carelessness and reckless and wanton and willful disregard of the safety of others by Church Mutual insured driver Emanuel Moaney, Plaintiff, Dorsen Turner, as a result of the impact between the two vehicles and the subsequent impact of the church vehicle into the tree ... [sustained] grievous personal injuries."

 Ms. Turner asserts that she was one of ten passengers in the van at the time of the accident, all of whom were injured and all of whom have retained counsel.

 Plaintiff's complaint goes on to allege that Nationwide Insurance Company, which provided liability coverage for the vehicle with which the church van collided, on November 22, 1994, forwarded a letter to all counsel tendering its policy limits, $ 25,000 for each accident and $ 50,000 for each occurrence. A copy of the Nationwide letter is attached to the complaint as Exhibit A. It asks that plaintiff's counsel contact other attorneys so that they can agree upon a distribution of the policy limits.

 Plaintiff asserts that as a result of what she calls Nationwide's tender, she became a beneficiary of defendant's underinsured motorist coverage in the amount of one million dollars. She also contends that she is the beneficiary of the liability policy issued by defendant to AME Zion which has a value in excess of five million dollars.

 Plaintiff goes on to allege that her attorney, Barbara E. Sarkin, Esquire, by letter dated January 31, 1995, advised defendant's claims attorney that she and counsel for the other defendants had reached an amicable resolution for the division among their clients of the proceeds of the Nationwide policy, $ 50,000, and the proceeds of defendant's underinsured motorist policy in the amount of one million dollars.

 Plaintiff also refers to a December 5, 1994, demand letter in which her counsel stated:

 
Please allow this letter to formally advise you in your capacity as Claims Supervisor for the insurance carrier for Pennsylvania Avenue AME Zion Church that my client, Dorsen Turner, will accept the policy limit of ONE MILLION DOLLARS ($ 1,000,000.00) WHICH IS THE UNDERINSURED MOTORIST LIMIT OF COVERAGE ...

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