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INSURANCE COVERAGE: Trial court denies motion to strike, allowing the defendant to file an apportionment claim against the plaintiff’s insurance company for uninsured motorist

The plaintiffs brought a negligence action against the defendant and an apportionment plaintiff, Lanina Fulton, for alleged injuries sustained while they were driving on Interstate 84. Fulton allegedly swerved her vehicle into the plaintiff’s vehicle, causing damages and injuries. In response, the defendant filed an apportionment claim against the plaintiff’s insurer. The defendant claimed that an unidentified vehicle swerved into her lane, causing her to strike the plaintiff’s vehicle. The apportionment defendant filed a motion to strike Fulton’s apportionment complaint. The issue was whether a defendant could file an apportionment complaint against the plaintiff’s insurance carrier on the theory that the accident was caused by an unknown third party, when the plaintiff did not name the insurance carrier in the original complaint. The trial court upheld the defendant’s apportionment complaint. The court reasoned that the defendant sought to apportion liability against the plaintiffs’ insurance carrier in its capacity as a substitute for the unknown driver whose negligence contributed to the plaintiff’s injuries. The court denied the motion to strike.  Merlyn Ocasio et al. v. Lanina Fulton, Superior Court, judicial district of Waterbury, Docket No. CV-19-6049631 (May 15, 2020).