United States District Court, D. Maryland
THEODORE P. CHUANG, JUDGE.
Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company ("Nationwide)) has
brought this declaratory judgment action under 28 U.S.C.
§ 2201, seeking a judicial
determination whether Defendants Shannon Mason and Kenneth
Kelley, Jr. are entitled to insurance coverage for an
automobile accident on October 10, 2014 pursuant to two
insurance policies issued by Nationwide. Having reviewed the
submitted materials, the Court finds no hearing necessary.
See D. Md. Local R. 105.6 (2016). For the reasons
set forth below, the Motion is GRANTED.
2014, Nationwide issued two automobile insurance policies to
Sharon Mason and Raymond Mason: Policy Number 5219 A 996370
("Policy 1") and Policy Number 5219 A 996371
("Policy 2") (collectively, "the
Policies"). Both policies listed the insured drivers as
Raymond R. Mason and Sharon F. Mason and the policy period as
July 18, 2014 to January 18, 2015. Policy 1 covered a 2006
Chevrolet Impala, a 1999 Chevrolet Tahoe, and a 1985
Chevrolet S-10 pickup truck. Policy 2 covered a 2012
Chevrolet Traverse and a 1992 Lincoln Town Car.
October 10, 2014, there was a two-car accident ("the
Accident") on Livingston Road in Prince George's
County, Maryland involving a 2000 Mercedes S430 ("the
Mercedes",, driven by Defendant Kelley, which resulted
in the deaths of Dominique Green, Hassan Boykin, Khadija
Shahadah Ba, Typhani Wilkerson, and Tameika Curtis and
injuries to Robert Hall III and Haddassah Belle Boykin. All
of these individuals, or their personal representatives, are
named as Defendants in this action. At the time of the
accident, the Mercedes was registered in the name of Shannon
Mason, the son of Sharon and Raymond Mason. All three of
these individuals are also named as Defendants in this
action. Shannon Mason was not a passenger in the Mercedes at
the time of the accident and had never even seen the
to Nationwide, "one or more individuals listed as
defendants in this lawsuit" have filed lawsuits or
claims "against Kenneth Kelley and/or Shannon Mason in
connection with the subject automobile accident." Mot.
Summ. J. at 2, ECF No. 76. Nationwide alleges that it has
been called upon to pay benefits for these "claims,
causes of action, expenses, damages, judgments and, or,
settlements that might be rendered" as a result of the
car accident. Compl. ¶ 34, ECF NO.1.
Nationwide has therefore filed this case.
November 15, 2016, all Defendants in this case had been
served. On March 1, 2017, the Clerk of the Court entered a
default against Defendants Jane A. Green, Robert Hall III,
the Personal Representative of the Estate of Tameika Curtis,
and the Personal Representative of the Estate of Typhani
Wilkerson. Although Defendants Sharon Mason, Raymond Mason,
Shannon Mason, and Kelley have neither filed Answers to the
Complaint nor had attorneys enter appearances on their
behalf, Nationwide has not sought a default against them. The
remaining Defendants, Haddassah Belle Boykin (in her personal
capacity and as the Personal Representative of Hassan Boykin)
and Amadou Doudou Ba, as Personal Representative of the
Estate of Khadija Shahadah Ba, have filed Answers and had
counsel appear on their behalf, but neither has opposed the
pending Motion. In fact, Boykin has filed a Notice stating
that she does not oppose the Motion. All Defendants,
including those against whom a default has been entered,
received notice of the pending Motion.
seeks a declaratory judgment stating that neither Policy 1
nor Policy 2 provides coverage for the Accident. Nationwide
also requests that the declaratory judgment state that it has
no duty to defend or indemnify Shannon Mason or Kelley from
claims arising from the Accident. Because the only reason
Nationwide would have a duty to defend or indemnify Shannon
Mason or Kelley would be if Policy 1 or Policy 2 provided
coverage for the Accident, the Court does not need to conduct
a separate inquiry for that request.
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56(a), the Court grants
summary judgment if the moving party demonstrates there is no
genuine issue as to any material fact, and that the moving
party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.
Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a); Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477
U.S. 317, 322 (1986). In assessing the Motion, the Court
views the facts in the light most favorable to the nonmoving
party, with all justifiable inferences drawn in its favor.
Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 255
(1986). The Court may rely only on facts supported in the
record, not simply assertions in the pleadings. Bouchat
v. Baltimore Ravens Football Club, Inc., 346 F.3d 514,
522 (4th Cir. 2003). A fact is "material" if it
"might affect the outcome of the suit under the
governing law." Anderson, 477 U.S. at 248. A
dispute of material fact is only "genuine" if
sufficient evidence favoring the nonmoving party exists for
the trier of fact to return a verdict for that party.
Id. at 248-49.
Declaratory Judgment Act states, "In a case of actual
controversy within its jurisdiction, ... any court of the
United States, upon the filing of an appropriate pleading,
may declare the rights and other legal relations of any
interested party seeking such declaration, whether or not
further relief is or could be sought." 28 U.S.C. §
2201(a) (2012). A federal court may exercise jurisdiction
over a declaratory judgment action when:
(1) The complaint alleges an actual controversy between the
parties of sufficient immediacy and reality to warrant
issuance of a declaratory judgment;
(2) The court possesses an independent basis for jurisdiction
over the parties (e.g., federal question or ...