INSURER WINS SUMMARY JUDGMENT ON EXCLUDED DRIVER ENDORSEMENT IN BEAUMONT
In Antoine v. Am. Serv. Ins. Co., Inc., 09-14-00235-CV, 2016 WL 422524 (Tex. App.—Beaumont Feb. 4, 2016), the Beaumont Court of Appeals held that an insurer was entitled to summary judgment because the automobile policy did not cover the excluded driver in a collision.
American Service Insurance Company insured Herman Berry’s truck through a policy that excluded certain drivers. Nakia Mazeil was driving Berry’s truck when he hit an SUV that was occupied by Angela and Erica Antoine. Subsequently, the Antoines sued Berry and Mazeil, claiming they had been injured in the February 2008 collision. American Service asked the trial court to declare that Berry’s policy did not cover the collision because Berry’s truck was being driven by Mazeil, a driver the policy specifically excluded. American Service moved for summary judgment. In their response, the Antoines argued that American Service failed to prove that the excluded-driver endorsement was in force when the collision occurred because it failed to produce any evidence to show that Berry’s signature was genuine or to show that Berry had signed the endorsement before the collision. In their appeal, the Antoines also argued the excluded-driver endorsement is ambiguous, vague, and unenforceable. However, the Court of Appeals noted the Antoines filed no summary judgment evidence to support their claim that Berry’s signature was not authentic, or to show that Berry failed to sign the excluded-driver endorsement on the policy in force on Berry's truck when the collision occurred. Accordingly, the Court of Appeals affirmed the finding that Mazeil was an excluded driver and no coverage was afforded.