Plaintiff was a passenger in a vehicle involved in an accident with a tractor-trailer. The trailer operator was hired by another company, who was insured by defendant. Plaintiff sought a declaration under the Declaratory Judgment Act that defendant was required to provide coverage for the accident. Because plaintiff was a non-party to defendant’s insurance policy and had not obtained a judgment against an insured party, she lacked standing to seek a declaration of defendant’s obligation to provide coverage.
We dismiss the action without prejudice and deny all motions as moot.
Plaintiff was a passenger in a vehicle involved in an accident with a tractor-trailer operated by defendant Ronald Crawford. At the time of the accident, Crawford had allegedly been hired by defendant Gruber Wood, Inc. to haul a trailer. Gruber is insured by defendant Nova Casualty Company.
Plaintiff filed two suits currently pending in state court. The only defendants appearing in the lawsuits were Crawford and the driver of plaintiff’s vehicle, but plaintiff made a demand for coverage upon Nova. When Nova denied coverage, plaintiff filed a declaratory judgment action against Nova. Plaintiff moved to remand the action to state court, while Nova cross-moved to dismiss a cross-claim and strike Gruber’s counterclaim.
We rule that plaintiff lacks standing to pursue a declaratory judgment against Nova at this time. We note that plaintiff is neither a party to Nova’s insurance policy nor has she obtained a money judgment against Nova’s insured. Thus, we find that no actual controversy exists between plaintiff and Nova because it is still hypothetical that plaintiff may obtain damages from any party to whom Nova may have to provide coverage. Accordingly, we dismiss the action.
Demers v. Nova Cas. Co. (Lawyers Weekly No. 002-202-18, 5 pp.) (Gergel, J.) 2:18-cv-1205-RMG D.S.C.