United States District Court, D. Montana, Great Falls Division
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
MORRIS, UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT JUDGE.
David Broadway (Broadway), brought this action to recover
underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage benefits under an
automobile insurance policy issued by Allstate Insurance
Company (Allstate). Presently before the Court are the
parties'cross-motions for partial summary judgment. The
Court conducted a hearing on the motions on November 27,
was injured in an auto accident in Great Falls, Montana on
July 9, 2014. A vehicle driven by Defendant Kari Meek (Meek)
collided with the 2005 Hyundai Tucson driven by Broadway.
Progressive Auto Insurance Company (Progressive) insured
father was the titled owner of the Hyundai at the time of the
accident. Broadway was driving the Hyundai with his
father's permission. Broadway's parents had insured
the Hyundai under an insurance policy issued by Allstate in
Kansas. Broadway's father had gifted the Hyundai to
Broadway before the accident. Paperwork to transfer legal
title to the Hyundai to Broadway had not yet been completed.
Broadway had not obtained his own insurance on the Hyundai at
the time of the accident. The Allstate policy issued to
Broadway's parents remained in effect when the accident
filed a personal injury lawsuit against Meek in state court
on April 5, 2016. (Doc. 3). Broadway settled his claims
against Meek for the $100, 000 limits under Meek's
insurance policy with Progressive. Broadway contends that the
$100, 000 that he received from Progressive failed to make
him whole. Broadway seeks $100, 000 in UIM benefits from
Allstate. Allstate has refused to pay UIM benefits.
filed an Amended Complaint in state Court on March 10, 2017,
that named Allstate as a defendant. (Doc. 4). Broadway
asserted two claims against Allstate: a breach of contract
claim seeking $100, 000 in UIM benefits, and a bad faith
claim. Allstate removed the case based on diversity of
citizenship. (Doc. 1).
parties' cross-motions for partial summary judgment
present a choice of law question. The parties disagree on
whether Kansas law or Montana governs the interpretation of
the Allstate policy. Allstate argues that Kansas law applies.
Broadway argues that Montana law applies.
courts sitting in diversity jurisdiction apply the
substantive law of the forum state, including the choice of
law rules of the forum state. See Mason and Dixon
Intermodal, Inc. v. Lapmaster International, LLC, 632
F.3d 1056, 1060 (9th Cir. 2011); Unified Western Grocers,
Inc. v. Twin City Fire Ins. Co., 457 F.3d 1106, 1111
(9th Cir. 2006). Montana's choice of law principles
Choice of Law Provision
Allstate policy contains a choice of law provision. Montana
law provides that when an insurance policy contains a choice
of law provision, the court must apply the chosen state's
law unless: 1) the chosen state has no substantial
relationship to the parties; or 2) Montana possesses a
materially greater interest than the chosen state and
application of the chosen state's laws would be contrary
to a fundamental policy of the state of Montana.
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