Kentucky Supreme Court Monthly Topical Summary of Published Decisions May 2013

Boyle County Danville, Kentucky John Marshall Harlan Historical Marker IMG_9928

Boyle County
Danville, Kentucky
John Marshall Harlan Historical Marker IMG_9928

The Supreme Court of Kentucky issued 7 opinions for publication and 12 attorney disciplinary decisions.

There were two decisions addressing tort, insurance and procedural matters:

In Samons v. KFBM, an uninsured pedestrian who was struck by an uninsured motor vehicle was entitled to PIP benefits against the individually insured driver (but not owner) of the uninsured vehicle.

In Grubbs v. Norton Hospicals, the trial court erred  by not excusing two jurors in a medical malpractice trial – one juror was an employee of the defendant; the other juror was a former patient of one of the defendant’s expert witnesses.

Click here for the May  2013 summaries of published decisions from the Supreme Court of Kentucky (SCOKY).

Click here for list of all summaries for SCOKY by year and month at AOC.

 

INSURANCE.
Linda Kaye Samons, Etc. v. Kentucky Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Company

2011-SC-000414-DG May 23, 2013

Opinion of the Court by Chief Justice Minton. All sitting; all concur. Linda Kaye Samons, the administratrix of Kenneth Crum’s estate, was attempting to collect Basic Reparation Benefits (BRBs) from Kentucky Farm Bureau. Crum was injured when, riding horseback along a road in Floyd County, he was struck by an uninsured vehicle driven by Raymond K. Ousley, who was insured by Kentucky Farm Bureau. The question before the Court was whether an uninsured pedestrian could recover BRBs from an insured driver when struck by an uninsured vehicle. The Court held that Kentucky Farm Bureau, while not insuring the vehicle that struck Crum, was responsible for the payment of BRBs because they insured the driver of the vehicle. In light of the strong public policy promoting recovery of BRBs under the Motor Vehicle Reparations Act, the Court found no reason to prohibit an uninsured pedestrian from recovering BRBs from an insured driver operating a vehicle uninsured by its owner.

JURY SELECTION:
Linda S. Grubbs, Etc. et al. v. Norton Hospitals, Inc., et al.

2010-SC-000532-DG May 23, 2013

Opinion of the Court by Justice Cunningham. All sitting. Noble, Scott and Venters, JJ., concur. Minton, C.J., concurs in result only by separate opinion in which Abramson and Keller, JJ., join. In this medical malpractice case, the trial court erred in failing to excuse two jurors for cause. A male juror whose son is employed by the defendant should have been excused, as well as a female juror who was a former patient of an expert witness for the defense. In analyzing the proper remedy, the Court specifically held that Shane v. Commonwealth applies to civil cases. As such, there is no requirement that the complained-of juror actually sat on the deliberating jury. Instead, because the plaintiff exhausted all of her peremptory strikes, and properly noted on her strike sheet that she would have excused the male juror had any strikes remained, reversal was required. Reversal would not have been required in the case of the female juror, because the plaintiff did not remove this juror using a peremptory strike, and the juror was ultimately removed as an alternate.

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