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McRoberts State Farm Hamilton County Ohio

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					                           IN THE COURT OF APPEALS
                   FIRST APPELLATE DISTRICT OF OHIO
                            HAMILTON COUNTY, OHIO




TRACY McROBERTS,                                    :      APPEAL NO. C-100220
                                                           TRIAL NO. A-0809277
            Plaintiff-Appellant,                    :
                                                           JUDGMENT ENTRY.
          vs.                                       :

STATE FARM FIRE AND CASUALTY                        :
COMPANY,
                                                    :
            Defendant-Appellee.



          We consider this appeal on the accelerated calendar, and this judgment entry is

not an opinion of the court.1

          Plaintiff-appellant Tracy McRoberts was involved in a car accident with an

uninsured driver. McRoberts had been driving her sister’s car. At the time of the

accident, her sister, Jennifer Johnson, held an insurance policy with defendant-

appellee State Farm Fire and Casualty Company (“State Farm”). McRoberts sued State

Farm for uninsured-motorist (“UM”) coverage.                Both sides moved for summary

judgment on the issue of whether McRoberts was insured under Johnson’s policy. The

trial court ruled in favor of State Farm. This appeal followed.

          In one assignment of error, McRoberts now argues that the trial court erred

when it entered summary judgment in favor of State Farm. We review this argument

de novo.2 Summary judgment is appropriate if, with the evidence construed most



1   See S.Ct.R.Rep.Op. 3(A), App.R. 11.1(E), and Loc.R. 12.
2   Grafton v. Ohio Edison Co., 77 Ohio St.3d 102, 105, 1996-Ohio-336, 671 N.E.2d 241.
                      OHIO FIRST DISTRICT COURT OF APPEALS



strongly in favor of the nonmoving party, no genuine issue of material fact remains and

the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.3

        The specific issue in this case is whether State Farm modified Johnson’s policy

by endorsement to exclude McRoberts as an insured. The original terms of Johnson’s

policy would have included McRoberts as an insured for purposes of UM coverage.

McRoberts claims that the original policy prevails; State Farm contends that the

endorsement does.

        Automobile insurance contracts must be issued for two years.4 But within these

two years, R.C. 3937.31(E) allows an insurance company to incorporate into a policy, at

the beginning of a policy period, any change permitted or required by law.5 And R.C.

3937.31(B)(1) states that a change in policy limits can be made “at the request or with

the consent of the insured.”

        Here, there is no dispute that the change in coverage was allowed by law.

McRoberts’ main argument is that there was no evidence that Johnson knew of or

consented to the endorsement issued by State Farm that changed the policy’s UM

coverage. Therefore, McRoberts argues, State Farm’s attempt to alter Johnson’s UM

coverage was not valid. But McRoberts’ argument overlooks language in Johnson’s

policy with State Farm that clearly allowed State Farm to alter Johnson’s policy by

endorsement. An insurance policy is a contract, and its terms are to be given their plain

and ordinary meaning.6 So despite McRoberts’ argument to the contrary, Johnson did

in fact consent to the endorsement at issue. And there is uncontradicted evidence in the


3 Civ.R. 56(C); Temple v. Wean United, Inc. (1977), 50 Ohio St.2d 317, 327, 364 N.E.2d 267; see,
also, Dresher v. Burt, 75 Ohio St.3d 280, 293, 1996-Ohio-107, 662 N.E.2d 264.
4 R.C. 3937.31(A).
5 See Advent v. Allstate Ins. Co., 118 Ohio St.3d 248, 2008-Ohio-2333, 888 N.E.2d 398; St. Clair

v. Allstate Ins. Co., 1st Dist. No. C-060028, 2006-Ohio-6159.
6 Alexander v. Buckeye Pipe Line Co. (1978), 53 Ohio St.2d 241, 374 N.E.2d 146, paragraphs one

and two of the syllabus; Gomolka v. State Auto. Mut. Ins. Co. (1982), 70 Ohio St.2d 166, 167-168,
436 N.E.2d 1347.

                                               2
                    OHIO FIRST DISTRICT COURT OF APPEALS



record that State Farm issued and mailed the endorsement to Johnson prior to

McRoberts’ accident.

       McRoberts’ sole assignment of error is overruled.

       The judgment of the trial court is affirmed.

       A certified copy of this judgment entry shall constitute the mandate, which shall

be sent to the trial court under App.R. 27. Costs shall be taxed under App.R. 24.


DINKELACKER, P.J., HENDON and FISCHER, JJ.



To the Clerk:
       Enter upon the Journal of the Court on February 4, 2011
per order of the Court _______________________________.
                            Presiding Judge




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