NORFOLK & DEDHAM MUTUAL FIRE INS. CO. v. WYSOCKI

SC 15624) (SC 15625

243 Conn. 239 (1997) | Cited 0 times | Supreme Court of Connecticut | November 11, 1997

Opinion

In these two joint appeals, the plaintiffs, Norfolk and DedhamMutual Fire Insurance Company (Norfolk) and Liberty Mutual Fire Insurance

[243 Conn. 240]

     Company (Liberty), appeal1 from the judgments of thetrial court denying their applications to vacate an uninsuredmotorist arbitration award and granting the applications of thedefendant, Craig Wysocki, to confirm the award. The cases werepresented to the trial court on the following stipulated facts.

In October, 1989, the defendant was operating an all-terrainvehicle, which he owned, on a public road when he collided withanother all-terrain vehicle owned and operated by Hans Pedersen.Both all-terrain vehicles were uninsured. The defendant was alsothe owner of a private passenger motor vehicle that was insured byLiberty for uninsured motorist coverage in the amount of $20,000.He was also insured under a private passenger motor vehicle policyissued to his mother by Norfolk that provided uninsured motoristcoverage in the amount of $40,000. The defendant made uninsuredmotorist claims against both policies, and a panel of arbitratorsawarded him $60,000.

Liberty and Norfolk filed applications to vacate the award,pursuant to General Statutes § 52-418,2 and the

[243 Conn. 241]

     trial court denied the applications to vacate and granted thedefendant's applications to confirm the award. Liberty and Norfolkeach claim that: (1) Pedersen's all-terrain vehicle was not a "motorvehicle" within the meaning of their respective policies; and (2)even if the all-terrain vehicle was a "motor vehicle," it was notcovered for uninsured motorist coverage because of the terms of acertain exclusion in each of their respective policies. The trialcourt concluded that although an all-terrain vehicle does not meetthe statutory definition of a motor vehicle, it does meet thedefinition of an uninsured motor vehicle found in both policiesfor purposes of uninsured motorist coverage, and that theexclusion provisions of the policies does not bar coverage. SeeNorfolk & Dedham Mutual Fire Ins. Co. v. Wysocki,45 Conn. Sup. 144, 150, 702 A.2d 675 (1996).

Our examination of the record on appeal, and the briefs andarguments of the parties, persuades us that the judgment of thetrial court should be affirmed. Because the trial court'smemorandum of decision fully addresses the arguments raised in thepresent appeal, we adopt the trial court's well reasoned decisionas a statement of the facts and the applicable law on theseissues. It would serve no useful purpose for us to repeat thediscussion therein contained. See Garrett's Appeal from Probate,237 Conn. 233, 237-38, 676 A.2d 394 (1996).

The judgment is affirmed.

1. The plaintiffs appealed from the judgment of the trial courtto the Appellate Court, and we transferred the appeal to thiscourt pursuant to Practice Book § 4023 and General Statutes §51-199 (c).

2. General Statutes § 52-418 provides: "Vacating award. (a)Upon the application of any party to an arbitration, the superiorcourt for the judicial district in which one of the partiesresides or, in a controversy concerning land, for the judicialdistrict in which the land is situated or, when the court is notin session, any judge thereof, shall make an order vacating theaward if it finds any of the following defects: (1) If the awardhas been procured by corruption, fraud or undue means; (2) ifthere has been evident partiality or corruption on the part of anyarbitrator; (3) if the arbitrators have been guilty of misconductin refusing to postpone the hearing upon sufficient cause shown orin refusing to hear evidence pertinent and material to thecontroversy or of any other action by which the rights of anyparty have been prejudiced; or (4) if the arbitrators haveexceeded their powers or so imperfectly executed them that amutual, final and definite award upon the subject matter submittedwas not made. "(b) If an award is vacated and the time within which theaward is required to be rendered has not expired, the

Opinion

In these two joint appeals, the plaintiffs, Norfolk and DedhamMutual Fire Insurance Company (Norfolk) and Liberty Mutual Fire Insurance

[243 Conn. 240]

     Company (Liberty), appeal1 from the judgments of thetrial court denying their applications to vacate an uninsuredmotorist arbitration award and granting the applications of thedefendant, Craig Wysocki, to confirm the award. The cases werepresented to the trial court on the following stipulated facts.

In October, 1989, the defendant was operating an all-terrainvehicle, which he owned, on a public road when he collided withanother all-terrain vehicle owned and operated by Hans Pedersen.Both all-terrain vehicles were uninsured. The defendant was alsothe owner of a private passenger motor vehicle that was insured byLiberty for uninsured motorist coverage in the amount of $20,000.He was also insured under a private passenger motor vehicle policyissued to his mother by Norfolk that provided uninsured motoristcoverage in the amount of $40,000. The defendant made uninsuredmotorist claims against both policies, and a panel of arbitratorsawarded him $60,000.

Liberty and Norfolk filed applications to vacate the award,pursuant to General Statutes § 52-418,2 and the

[243 Conn. 241]

     trial court denied the applications to vacate and granted thedefendant's applications to confirm the award. Liberty and Norfolkeach claim that: (1) Pedersen's all-terrain vehicle was not a "motorvehicle" within the meaning of their respective policies; and (2)even if the all-terrain vehicle was a "motor vehicle," it was notcovered for uninsured motorist coverage because of the terms of acertain exclusion in each of their respective policies. The trialcourt concluded that although an all-terrain vehicle does not meetthe statutory definition of a motor vehicle, it does meet thedefinition of an uninsured motor vehicle found in both policiesfor purposes of uninsured motorist coverage, and that theexclusion provisions of the policies does not bar coverage. SeeNorfolk & Dedham Mutual Fire Ins. Co. v. Wysocki,45 Conn. Sup. 144, 150, 702 A.2d 675 (1996).

Our examination of the record on appeal, and the briefs andarguments of the parties, persuades us that the judgment of thetrial court should be affirmed. Because the trial court'smemorandum of decision fully addresses the arguments raised in thepresent appeal, we adopt the trial court's well reasoned decisionas a statement of the facts and the applicable law on theseissues. It would serve no useful purpose for us to repeat thediscussion therein contained. See Garrett's Appeal from Probate,237 Conn. 233, 237-38, 676 A.2d 394 (1996).

The judgment is affirmed.

1. The plaintiffs appealed from the judgment of the trial courtto the Appellate Court, and we transferred the appeal to thiscourt pursuant to Practice Book § 4023 and General Statutes §51-199 (c).

2. General Statutes § 52-418 provides: "Vacating award. (a)Upon the application of any party to an arbitration, the superiorcourt for the judicial district in which one of the partiesresides or, in a controversy concerning land, for the judicialdistrict in which the land is situated or, when the court is notin session, any judge thereof, shall make an order vacating theaward if it finds any of the following defects: (1) If the awardhas been procured by corruption, fraud or undue means; (2) ifthere has been evident partiality or corruption on the part of anyarbitrator; (3) if the arbitrators have been guilty of misconductin refusing to postpone the hearing upon sufficient cause shown orin refusing to hear evidence pertinent and material to thecontroversy or of any other action by which the rights of anyparty have been prejudiced; or (4) if the arbitrators haveexceeded their powers or so imperfectly executed them that amutual, final and definite award upon the subject matter submittedwas not made. "(b) If an award is vacated and the time within which theaward is required to be rendered has not expired, the

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