Sandra Prewitt, et al v. Kamal Brown

Case Number

This appeal arises from a two-car accident. The parties do not dispute that Plaintiff’s vehicle sustained irreparable damage and that Defendant, the driver of the other vehicle, was 100% at fault. Prior to the commencement of this action, the automobile insurance carrier for Defendant, Allstate Insurance Company, paid the lien-holder of Plaintiff’s vehicle $7,852.57, the amount Allstate believed to be the fair market value of the vehicle. Thereafter, Plaintiff sued Defendant to recover the balance of the fair market value of her car and damages for loss of use. She also asserted a direct action against Allstate, alleging that Allstate reached a settlement with her lien-holder before exploring the full extent of her damages. The trial court dismissed the direct action against Allstate for failure to state a claim upon which relief could be granted, pursuant to Tenn. R. Civ. P. 12.02(6), because Tennessee law does not permit a direct action against an insured’s insurance carrier “without first establishing that the insured . . . has become ‘legally obligated’ to pay damages.” Ferguson v. Nationwide Prop. & Cas. Ins. Co., 218 S.W.3d 42, 52 (Tenn. Ct. App. 2006) (quoting Seymour v. Sierra, 98 S.W.3d 164, 165 (Tenn. Ct. App. 2002)). Following the dismissal of Plaintiff’s claims against Allstate, the trial court summarily dismissed Plaintiff’s claims against Defendant upon the finding that Plaintiff failed to present any evidence that the fair market value was more than Allstate paid on behalf of Defendant. The court also summarily dismissed Plaintiff’s claim for the loss of use of her car, because it could not be repaired and she never sought to rent a replacement vehicle. Plaintiff appealed. We affirm.

Authoring Judge
Presiding Judge Frank G. Clement, Jr.
Originating Judge
Judge Kelvin D. Jones
Case Name
Sandra Prewitt, et al v. Kamal Brown
Date Filed
Dissent or Concur
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