Barbara Guerrucci and Enzo Guerrucci, As Next Friends Oflawrence and Jennifer Guerrucci, Plaintiffs-appellants, v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company, Defendant-appellee, 759 F.2d 1566 (11th Cir. 1985)

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U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit - 759 F.2d 1566 (11th Cir. 1985) May 13, 1985

Kenneth J. Rajotte, Atlanta, Ga., for plaintiffs-appellants.

Dean S. Daskal, Atlanta, Ga., for defendant-appellee.

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia.

Before RONEY and HILL, Circuit Judges, and PITTMAN* , District Judge.


The facts of this case are undisputed. The appellants held an automobile insurance policy issued by the appellee State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company (State Farm). The policy was in effect prior to and at the time of the passage of the Georgia Motor Vehicle Accident Reparations Act (Georgia No-Fault Law), OCGA § 33-34-1, et seq. Prior to the effective date of the Act, the appellee mailed to the appellants a card entitled "Statement of Coverages as of March 1, 1975 (149)." On December 13, 1974, the appellant Enzo Guerrucci signed the card, rejecting all optional coverage (a copy of the card as executed by Mr. Guerrucci is attached as Appendix "A"). In June, 1976, appellant Enzo Guerrucci's wife and two children sustained serious bodily injuries in an automobile accident. The insurance policy was in full force and effect at that time. Appellants sought retroactive increase of personal injury protection (PIP) benefits. State Farm refused to extend the maximum PIP benefits. There is no question or issue about the basic coverage required by law of $5,000.00.

The question before this court is whether the district court erred in holding that the card provided by State Farm met the requirements of the Georgia No-Fault Law, OCGA § 33-34-5(c).

The appellants contend that the card does not meet those requirements. Under Wiard v. Phoenix Insurance Co., 251 Ga. 698, 310 S.E.2d 221 (1983), State Farm was required to provide "a document containing (1) written information clearly stating the optional No-Fault PIP coverage and the optional No-Fault vehicle damage coverage, and (2) a means for the insured to make a written acceptance or rejection of each." Id. at 700, 310 S.E.2d at 223. The appellants argue that State Farm's card did not meet the second of those requirements. They argue that the document must provide means by which the insured can make two separate written expressions of rejection--one for the personal injury coverage and one for the vehicle damage coverage.

The court finds the appellants' argument to be without merit. Subsequent to Wiard, King v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co., 169 Ga.App. 651, 314 S.E.2d 486 (1984), considered the same optional coverage selection card of State Farm that is before this court and held its selection card meets the requirements of OCGA § 33-34-5(c). The order of the district court granting summary judgment in favor of State Farm is therefore AFFIRMED.

APPENDIX A NOTE--Some parts of this form are wider than one screen. To view material that exceeds the width of this screen, use the right arrow key. To return to the original screen, use the left arrow key. Front ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- STATEMENT OF COVERAGES AS OF MARCH 1, 1975 If Policy is in Effect As Of T _ Date NAMED OF INSURED: GUERRUCCI ENZO 625112911 00 GEOR ------------------------- POLICY NUMBER AGENT 6251 129-808-11 JAMES L SMITH 1188 ------------------------------------------------------------ Year & MAKE COVERAGE - SEE EXPLANATION ON REVERSE 65 CHEV A B P1 C H U -----------------------------------------------------------------

The minimum coverage requirements of the GEORGIA MOTOR VEHICLE ACCIDENT REPARATIONS ACT

(commonly known as the NO FAULT LAW) have been automatically provided in your policy as shown

in the coverage block above. SEE BROCHURE FOR EXPLANTION OF CHANGES. Additional coverage can

be obtained by completing this form.

This form must be COMPLETED, SIGNED & RETURNED by: DEC. 20. 1974

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- OPTIONAL COVERAGE OFFER IF YOU REJECTION OF COVERAGE WANT TO ADD ANY A choice of additional limits is PHYSIC- I UNDERSTAND THAT ACCEPTANCE available under the Personal Injury AL OF ANY OPTIONAL P COVERAGE Protection DAMAGE CONSTITUTES THE REJECTION OF ALL OTHER COVERAGE# OPTIONS EXCEPT THE Coverage (P). If you want to purchase COVERA- $5,000 BASIC P LIMIT WHICH additional limits, please mark your GE UNDER THE LAW CANNOT BE REJECTED OR CHA- I FURTHER UNDERSTAND THAT NGE PHYSICAL DAMAGE COVERAGE OPTIONS choice of limits below, sign, remove ANY INCLUDING LOSS OF USE, WERE this portion from the identification OFFERED TO ME I WISH TO RETAIN MY PHYSIC- PRESENT PHYSICAL DAMAGE AL COVERAGE COVERAGES (IF ANY) AND REJECT cards, and return. DAMAGE ALL OTHER PHYSICAL DAMAGE COVERAGE OPTIONS UNLESS I HAVE CHECKED COVERA- THE BLOCK IMMEDIATELY TO THE GE LEFT. OPTIONAL P2 P3 P4 MARK 21-13-74 COVERAGE HERE. ----------------------------- TOTAL $10- $26- $50- DATE AGGREGATE LIMIT, -, -, - 0- 0- 0- 00 00 00 (Includes P1 Benefits) TO ASSURE ACCURACY MARK OVER THE X IN THE BOX OF YOUR CHOICE LIKE X /s/ (signature) THIS . . . X ----------------------------- SIGNATURE 10
 Back ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- HOW TO IDENTIFY YOUR COVERAGES A -Bodily Injury Liability G -Deductible Collision B -Property Damage Liability K -Deductible Combined Additional Coverage* C -Medical Payments L -Deductible Comprehensive and Collision* P -Personal Injury Protection M -Emergency Road Service D -Comprehensive or Deductible R -Rental Reimbursement Comprehensive E -Fire, Wind, and Theft U -Uninsured Motor Vehicle F -80% Collision S -Auto Death Indemnity and Specific Disability



Honorable Virgil Pittman, U.S. District Judge for the Southern District of Alabama, sitting by designation