Insurers are not liable for injuries caused by a drive-by shooting, The Supreme Court of New Jersey has ruled.
The decision overturns an Appellate Division ruling that would have expanded an insurer’s liability under the uninsured motorist statute.
The case, Livsey v. Mercury Insurance Group, stems from a woman inured from a random bullet while walking toward her car. The Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI) filed an amicus brief in the case, arguing that the plaintiff should not receive UM benefits. The Supreme Court said it reversed the lower court’s ruling because the plaintiff’s injuries from the shooting were not caused by the use of an automobile.
“The Supreme Court’s ruling places appropriate limits on scope of uninsured motorist coverage,” says Richard Stokes, regional manager and counsel for PCI. “While this was an unfortunate incident, the expansion of coverage beyond what is allowed for under the contract would be harmful for consumers. Uninsured motorists coverage should be limited to cases where the injury is closely connected to the motor vehicle.”
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