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INSURANCE COVERAGE: Superior Court grants defendant’s motion for summary judgment, finding that the defendant clearly defined the policy limits and that plaintiff is not entitled to further recovery

This action arises out of a dispute over underinsured motorist benefit coverage where the plaintiff already recovered workers’ compensation benefits in excess of the limits of the available coverage. The defendant, J&B Hunt Transport, Inc., an auto self-insurer, argued that the plaintiff’s claim was barred by Connecticut General Statutes § 31-284(a), which does not allow an employee to sue his employer for recovery for personal injuries that occurred in the course of his employment if the employee has or is receiving worker’s compensation benefits. However, under General Statutes § 38a-336(f), injured employees are specifically allowed access to the employer’s UM coverage if the employee is injured while occupying a covered vehicle. Therefore, the court finds that the plaintiff does have the general right to make an uninsured claim against his employer as a self-insurer. However, the plaintiff is not entitled to recovery.  The court finds that there is no genuine issue of material fact regarding the amount of coverage available to the plaintiff; the defendant properly elected limits of $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident. Additionally, a self-insurer has no duty to give notice it is electing lower UIM/UM limits than the BI limits, and in this case the self-insurer did in fact execute an informed consent, lower-limits form.  Based on the defendant’s uncontroverted assertions that the workers’ compensation benefits recovered by the plaintiff exceed $100,000.00, the court finds that there is no genuine issue of material fact regarding whether the plaintiff is entitled to further recovery and grants the self-insurer’s motion for summary judgment. Thompson v. Zurich Am. Ins. Co., No. CV196090633, 2021 Conn. Super. LEXIS 930 (Super. Ct. May 18, 2021).