Charles B. Beery v. Northern States Power by Supreme Court of Minnesota

Book Review : Charles B. Beery v. Northern States Power

By Supreme Court of Minnesota

  • Publication Date: 1953-03-27
  • Genre: Law

Book Review

The court of appeals affirmed dismissal of a suit for underinsured motorist ("UIM") benefits because it was commenced more than 6 years after the accident in which the injury occurred. We are asked to determine whether the statute of limitations begins to run on a UIM claim on the date of the accident or at a later time. In the past, we have indicated that the claim accrues and the limitations period commences at the time of the accident that causes the injury. See Weeks v. American Family Mut. Ins. Co., 580 N.W.2d 24, 27 (Minn. 1998); ONeill v. Illinois Farmers Ins. Co., 381 N.W.2d 439, 439 (Minn. 1986). Yet we have also held that a UIM claim is not ripe until is has been determined that the tortfeasor is in fact underinsured by settlement or adjudication of the claim against the tortfeasor. See Employers Mut. Cos. v. Nordstrom, 495 N.W.2d 855, 857 (Minn. 1993). Because the confluence of these decisions creates the possibility that the statute of limitations could run on a UIM claim before it becomes ripe, we conclude that the better rule is that UIM claims accrue and the statute of limitations begins to run when the UIM claim becomes ripe by settlement or adjudication of the claim against the tortfeasor. We therefore reverse and remand.

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