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Insurance – Auto – UIM – Stacking – Multiple Claimants

Insurance – Auto – UIM – Stacking – Multiple Claimants

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Despite the apparent plain language of the multiple-claimants exception to the stacking language of G.S. § 20-279.21(b)(4), Nationwide Affinity Insurance Company of America v. Le Bei, 259 N.C. App. 626, 816 S.E.2d 251 (2018), allowed stacking in a situation analogous to the one presented here: Defendant Kyrie Mebane was a passenger of Terrell Bellamy’s vehicle, which was insured by plaintiff. Kyrie was one of multiple claimants injured in a crash caused by Bellamy, so Kyrie received only a portion of the Bellamy vehicle’s $100,000-per-accident liability limits. Since we are bound by Le Bei, we must also allow Kyrie to stack his mother’s separate $50,000 per person/$100,000 per accident underinsured motorist coverage (also provided by plaintiff) with Bellamy’s $50,000/$100,000 underinsured motorist coverage to determine that Bellamy’s vehicle was underinsured. Under Le Bei, the trial court did not err in finding the multiple-claimant exception inapplicable here.

We affirm summary judgment for defendants.

North Carolina Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Co. v. Mebane (Lawyers Weekly No. 012-098-23, 9 pp.) (Jeffery Carpenter, J.) Appealed from Wake County Superior Court (John Smith, J.) William Lipscomb for plaintiff; Timothy Sheriff, Natalie Walters and Joseph Scibelli for defendants. North Carolina Court of Appeals (unpublished)

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