RELEASES: ABNEY V. NATIONWIDE MUT. INS. CO. (SC 11/22/2006)

ABNEY V. NATIONWIDE MUT. INS. CO.
Settlement and Release:  General releases
2004-SC-000937-DG.pdf
PUBLISHED: AFFIRMING; MCANULTY
DATE RENDERED: 11/22/2006

Held a release negotiated with one joint tortfeasor discharging "all other persons, firms or corporations liable, or who might be claimed to be liable" effectively release another joint tortfeasor who had not negotiated or paid any consideration for the release and this was not affected by the enactment of KRS 411 .182 (the apportionment statute).

The facts:

Ernest Abney was a passenger in a pickup truck owned by Grady Brake and driven by his son, Arthur Brake, when Arthur Brake rear-ended another vehicle driven by Tonya Wright. Just before the accident, Tonya Wright either slowed down or stopped her vehicle abruptly to retrieve her purse, which her husband had  the accident, Abney sustained significant injuries including a broken right hand and a back injury that required surgical intervention .

At the time of the accident, Kentucky Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Company (KFB) insured Tonya Wright. And Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company insured the Brakes.

Abney and his wife, Kristy, executed a release with KFB at a local KFB agent’s office. At the time the Abneys signed the release, they did not have legal counsel present.


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