Holding: The vehicle involved in the underlying accident was titled in the name of the defendant-father’s emancipated son and was not – as stated in the father’s insurance policy – garaged at the father’s home. Consequently, the father had no insurable interest in the vehicle.
The court grants summary judgment for the plaintiff-insurance company.
The parent of an emancipated child is not liable for the child’s alleged negligent acts while driving a vehicle that is not owned by the parent.
Furthermore, plaintiff is not estopped from denying coverage based on its entering into settlement negotiations with the defendant-passenger in her state-court action against the father and his son (who was driving the vehicle). Evidence of an offer or attempt to compromise or settle a matter in dispute cannot be given in evidence against the party by whom such offer or attempt was made.
USAA General Indemnity Co. v. McCullough (Lawyers Weekly No. 002-049-18, 11 pp.) (J. Michelle Childs, J.) 5:16-cv-03110; John Robert Murphy and Wesley Brian Sawyer for plaintiff; Eric Poulin, James Camden Hodge, Katie Wong and Roy Willey IV for defendants; D.S.C.