Scope of Insurance Claims – Hubner v. Old Republic Insurance Co.

If you or someone close to you has been injured due to the negligence of another person, you can seek compensation for your injuries through a negligence claim. Issues of liability can be complex, and insurance companies can often be a nightmare to deal with. This is precisely where we come in. Robert Dixon is a highly skilled Miami personal injury lawyer who is well versed in this area of law and can help you get the compensation you deserve.

In Hubner v. Old Republic Insurance Co., the Fifth District held that a Boy Scouts of America Volunteer who was injured in a car crash when returning home from an Eagle Scout Project was deemed to be within the scope of his duties as a “registered volunteer” at the time of the accident for the purposes of insurance.

The facts of the case are as follows. Alan Norton was a registered volunteer with the Boy Scouts of America. He routinely participated in Boy Scout activities. Prior to the accident, Norton was helping a scout complete an Eagle Scout project. The project entailed cleaning up a cemetery that had become messy because of overgrown trees and debris. The cleanup effort took a few weeks in total.

Over the course of the initiative, Norton visited the cemetery numerous times. At the end of the effort, Norton realized that no one had taken a photo to show the results of the project. Norton then decided to go home and get his camera so he could take a picture. On his way home, his car struck plaintiff Chris Hubner’s car head-on, seriously injuring the plaintiff. Both parties were seriously injured.

When the accident occurred, the Boy Scouts of America had an insurance policy that contained a liability clause covering the organization’s registered volunteers who are acting within the scope of their official duties. Under the clause, such duties were defined quite broadly. Norton testified that the sole reason of his trip was to take the photograph of the clean cemetery for the Boy Scouts’ records. Norton’s insurer argued that the trip was outside the scope of his duties, and thus he was not covered under the policy. The trial court granted the defendant’s summary judgment, holding that Norton was not insured because, while he was a registered volunteer, he was not partaking in official scout activity at the time of the accident.

The Fifth District disagreed with the lower court and held that when a registered volunteer is participating in official scout activity, it is covered by the insurance policy. The clause in question defines Official Scouting Activity broadly to encompass any activity that is consistent with the values, charter, bylaws, rules, and regulations of the Boy Scouts of America. Here, Norton returning to take photos of the cemetery was an activity that could sufficiently be deemed within the scout’s official project.

Robert Dixon is an experienced Miami personal injury attorney who has helped countless clients deal with their accidents. We understand the emotional, physical, and financial toll that an accident can have on you and your entire family. If you were injured in an accident that was caused by another person’s negligence, you have rights under Florida law. It is best to act as quickly as possible after the accident. We proudly represent clients throughout South Florida. Contact us online or call us today at 1-877-499-HURT (4878) for a free, confidential consultation.

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