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Allstate Fire and Casualty Insurance Company v. Purkey

United States District Court, D. Alaska

August 30, 2018

Allstate Fire and Casualty Co., Plaintiff,
v.
Scott Purkey, et al., Defendants. Scott Purkey, et al., Third-Party Plaintiffs,
v.
Brian Schindel, et al., Third-Party Defendants, Scott Purkey, et al., Counterclaimants,
v.
Allstate Fire and Casualty Co, Counterdefendant.

          ORDER AND OPINION [RE: MOTIONS AT DOCS. 23 AND 32]

          JOHN W. SEDWICK SENIOR JUDGE, UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT

         I. MOTIONS PRESENTED

         At docket 23, plaintiff Allstate Fire and Casualty Co. (“Allstate”) moves for an order compelling the adjudication of competing claims to the proceeds of an insurance policy it issued to Brian and Jodi Schindele. The motion has been fully briefed. As will become clear from the discussion relating to the motion at docket 32, this court is without jurisdiction to entertain the motion at docket 23.

         At docket 32, Third-Party Defendants Dylan Schindele, Brian Schindele, and Jodie Schindele (collectively “the Schindeles”) moved to dismiss the Third-Party Complaint filed by Scott Purkey and Mary-Jean Jones Purkey (collectively “the Purkeys”). The motion is supported by a memorandum at docket 33. Allstate filed a non-opposition at docket 35. The Purkeys filed an opposition at docket 53. Defendant United States of America (“the United States”) filed its amended opposition at docket 54. The Schindeles filed a reply to the United States' opposition at docket 57. The Schindeles filed a reply to the Purkeys' opposition at docket 58. Oral argument was not requested and would not be of aid to the court.

         II. BACKGROUND

         This lawsuit arises out of an automobile accident. On July 23, 2017, Dylan Schindele, who is the son of Brian Schindele and Jodie Schindele, was driving one of his parents' automobiles North on the Parks Highway. The Purkeys were traveling South on the Parks Highway on a motorcycle. There was a collision which injured the Purkeys and damaged the motorcycle.

         Dylan was an authorized driver on his parents Allstate insurance policy. The policy limits were $50, 000 for each person injured and $50, 000 for property damage. Within six months there had been communications between Allstate and the Purkey's lawyer, Yale Metzger, concerning a possible resolution of the Purkey's' claims against the Schindeles. From the materials provided to the court, it appears that the parties were discussing a complete release of all the Purkeys' claims in exchange for payment of Allstate's policy limits plus statutory add-ons. The parties' settlement efforts were complicated by the assertion of a property damage subrogation claim by Geico Insurance Co. and the discovery that the United States might also assert a claim for medical care provided by the Veterans' Administration.

         Against that background, Allstate filed the lawsuit at bar. According to the Amended Complaint's First Cause of Action:

         Allstate and the Schindeles are entitled to the following relief:

a. Specific performance of the contract whereby Scott Purkey releases and fully discharges Dylan, Brian, and Jodi Schindele from all claims arising from the July 23, 2017 motor vehicle accident in exchange for payment of the per person bodily injury limit plus the per occurrence property damage limit under policy no 020 391 981; and
b. That, as the attorney for Scott Purkey, Yale Metzger receive, in trust, the two settlement checks equaling $113, 946.58 currently in the possession of Michael Hanson in exchange for Scott Purkey's updated signed and dated Release of All Claims relative to Dylan, Brian and Jodi Schindele.
c. That Scott Purkey be ordered to specifically perform Scott Purkey's obligations set out in the Release of All Claims, including without limitation, the obligation that “the undersigned [Scott Purkey] shall distribute these funds in accord with such claims [of the United States], liens or rights to payment.”[1]

         The Second Cause of Action asks to inter-plead the funds by depositing them in the court's registry. Thereafter, the funds would be distributed upon the entry of an order “fully protecting the Schindeles from the claims of all claimants and distributing the Stake to the appropriate claimants [and discharging Allstate] from any and all liability under the [insurance policy].”[2]

         The Third Cause of Action asks for a declaratory judgment that the Schindeles are “fully and finally released ad discharged from all claims of all claimants ...


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