As an Incident Occurred While Transporting a Passenger in New Jersey, Insurance Company’s Endorsement 7212 Acted to Increase Its Underinsured Motorist’s Coverage Limits to Meet New Jersey’s Limits of $1.5 Million as Specified by New Jersey Law.

Marshall Dennehey
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Nicolas R. Lafont v. Farmers Insurance Exchange, 2023 WL 8698908, Nov. 29, 2023 (Pa.Com.Pl.)

The plaintiff, who was driving for Uber at the time of the accident, alleged that the defendant’s insured, Claudio Palacios-Serrano, negligently operated his motor vehicle by failing to stop and/or yield to the plaintiff’s vehicle, who had the right-of-way before making a left turn. The plaintiff claimed injuries to the head, cervical, thoracic and lumbar spine, as well as a traumatic brain injury, concussion post-concussion syndrome, post-traumatic headaches, loss of balance, aggravation of cervical disc herniations and cervical radiculopathy.

The defendant’s insured pled guilty to careless driving in municipal court. Prior to the accident, the defendant, Farmers Insurance, issued a policy of automobile insurance to Rasier LLC, Rasier-CA LLC, Rasier-DC LLC, and Rasier-PA LLC (wholly owned subsidiaries of Uber). Accordingly, the plaintiff was insured under the Farmers Insurance policy as a Transportation Network Company Driver who was providing a prearranged ride to a passenger that originated in the state of Pennsylvania.

Because the crash occurred while transporting a passenger in the state of New Jersey, Farmers Insurance endorsement 7212 acted to increase its Underinsured Motorist’s Coverage limits to meet the limits of $1.5 million as specified by New Jersey law. The jury awarded the plaintiff $125,000 in non-economic damages and $600,000 in economic damages, for a total of $725,000.

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