North Carolina Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Co. v. Hull (Lawyers Weekly No. 011-009-17, 37 pp.) (Wendy Enochs, J.) (John Tyson, J., concurring in part & dissenting in part) Appealed from Davidson County Superior Court (Mark Klass, J.) N.C. App.
Holding: After being injured in a multi-car accident, defendants accepted the liability limits from an underinsured motorist, as well as plaintiff’s proffer of its UIM limits. When they signed the settlement agreement provided by plaintiff on March 14, 2012, defendants struck through and initialed the paragraph setting out plaintiff’s subrogation rights. Since plaintiff did not file this action challenging defendants’ refusal to honor its subrogation rights until May 1, 2015, plaintiff’s claim is time barred.
We affirm the trial court’s grant of defendants’ motion to dismiss.
(Tyson, J.) While I concur that plaintiff’s breach of contract claim seeking a return of the UIM benefits paid to defendants is time-barred, as plaintiff stipulates, plaintiff’s remaining declaratory judgment claims are not time-barred.
Plaintiff’s declaratory judgment action and claim for recovery of proceeds received by defendants from a second motorist, Brandon Robinson, could not and did not accrue until plaintiff received notice of defendants’ negotiations with and payment by Robinson, and defendants’ denial of plaintiff’s subrogation rights to that recovery. Plaintiff brought its declaratory judgment action within three years of defendants’ denial of plaintiff’s subrogation rights to the Robinson recovery, so plaintiff’s claim is not barred by the statute of limitations.