Neptune v. Indian Harbor Ins. Co., No. 22-20592, 2023 WL 4884863 (5th Cir. Aug. 1, 2023) involved a Lyft driver who was involved in a shooting and car chase.  After plaintiff Neptune picked up a passenger, another man who had been following the passenger approached her car and tried to get in.  The passenger instructed Neptune to drive away quickly, and the second man fired a gun at her vehicle, blowing out her back window.  A harrowing chase ensued which ended with the car wrecked and Neptune and her passenger hiding in a ditch while waiting for the police to arrive.  Neptune then made injury claims arising from the crash that ended the chase and sought UIM benefits from Indian Harbor, who provided the UIM coverage for Lyft drivers.

The district court granted summary judgment for Indian Harbor, holding there was no evidence the insured vehicle was struck by another vehicle, and also that the injuries and damages arising from the shooter’s conduct did not arise out of the “use of a motor vehicle.”   Neptune stated in her appellate brief that the unknown vehicle driven by the shooter hit her vehicle from behind shortly before she crashed, but her deposition testimony did not support that statement.  During her deposition, Neptune had only stated that she did not recall whether the shooter actually hit her car with his own while chasing her. Thus, the Fifth Circuit affirmed the win for the carrier, relying primarily on the lack of evidence showing there was physical contact with the other vehicle.

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