In 2009, a car collided with a bus driven by Angela Austin, causing several passengers' deaths and serious injuries to others. Austin drove the bus as a transport vehicle for a nonprofit called Focus. Focus was insured by appellant Philadelphia Indemnity Insurance Company, who filed a complaint for interpleader indicating its willingness to pay insurance-policy proceeds in the total amount of $1 million as per its policy and requesting to be discharged from further liability. The circuit court entered an order interpleading appellant's funds. Appellees, the injured passengers and administrators of the deceased passengers' estates, filed counterclaims against appellant, alleging that Focus negligently failed to restrict Austin from using her cell phone while driving and arguing they were entitled to a judgment against appellant for a share of the interpleaded funds. Appellant filed a motion for declaratory judgment and a motion to dismiss, stating it had paid the full amount as stated in the insurance policy. The circuit court denied appellants' motions. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the circuit court correctly concluded that the language of the policy was ambiguous.
Posted in: Arkansas Supreme Court, Injury Law, Insurance Law, Non-Profit Corporations, Trusts & Estates