State Farm Fire & Casualty Company v. Tashire

PETITIONER: State Farm Fire & Casualty Company
RESPONDENT: Tashire
LOCATION: United States Food and Drug Administration

DOCKET NO.: 391
DECIDED BY: Warren Court (1965-1967)
LOWER COURT: United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

CITATION: 386 US 523 (1967)
ARGUED: Feb 14, 1967 / Feb 15, 1967
DECIDED: Apr 10, 1967

Facts of the case

Question

Media for State Farm Fire & Casualty Company v. Tashire

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - February 15, 1967 in State Farm Fire & Casualty Company v. Tashire

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - February 14, 1967 in State Farm Fire & Casualty Company v. Tashire

Hugo L. Black:

Number 391, State Farm Fire & Casualty Company against Kathryn Tashire and others.

Mr. Skopil.

Otto R. Skopil, Jr.:

Mr. Justice Black, may it please the Court.

I represent State Farm Fire and Casualty Company, the original plaintiff in the case, which was filed under Section 1335 of the code as a bill in the nature of interpleader.

Just by way of brief background I think the complaint, which is a part of the record reveals most of these facts.

That Mr. Glasgow, one of the named defendants in the original complaint was the owner of a certain pickup automobile, which he used in his own business to travel to the San Francisco, California area from Medford, Oregon for the purpose of picking up furniture at auction sales and then returning to the Medford area, his home for the purpose of disposing of such merchandise.

Mr. Glasgow was not insured.

He had no insurance, no liability insurance coverage on his vehicle.

Mr. Clark one of the other main defendants who is the insured of State Farm Fire and Casualty Company, as a friend of Mr. Glasgow was invited to go along on the particular trip to San Francisco, Mr. Clark at that time being unemployed and proceeded to travel with Mr. Glasgow.

At a point some distance north of Redding, Mr. Glasgow, the owner of the vehicle asked Mr. Clark, the State Farm insured whether or not he wouldn't drive the vehicle for a period of time.

Mr. Clark honoring such request commenced to drive the vehicle and shortly after he undertook this responsibility, there was a collision which occurred between the Glasgow vehicle been driven by Mr. Clark and a Pacific Greyhound bus, such accident having occurred from all of the investigation on what would be the Greyhound side of the road and not the Clark side of the road.

Glasgow has no insurance.

Mr. Clark is insured with State Farm Fire and Casualty Company with a total coverage applicable to this situation of $20,000.

Shortly after that the lawsuits are beginning to be filed and after the first five have been filed, the total tort relief exceeds a million dollars, a million one hundred and ten thousand dollars.

There were some 37 claimants, 35 passengers in the bus, and the bus actually traveled over an embankment and as a result the injuries were rather severe in some instances and I think three deaths as a result of the particular collision.

So State Farm --

Potter Stewart:

And these claimants are bus passengers, other survivors?

Otto R. Skopil, Jr.:

Yes.

Potter Stewart:

Against whom, against Mr. Clark, Mr. Glasgow and Greyhound?

Otto R. Skopil, Jr.:

Against Mr. Clark, Mr. Glasgow and Greyhound.

One correction I'd like to make Your Honor and that is the claimants are not only the passengers of the bus, but they also of course include Mr. Glasgow who is a passenger in his own vehicle.

Potter Stewart:

His own vehicle.

Otto R. Skopil, Jr.:

And also Pacific Greyhound Lines, who of course, this claim might be remote but they do claim a right to the proceeds which they were required to pay to their own employee Mr. Nauta, the driver of the bus and they also claim damage to their personal property, the damage to the bus itself.

So the parties, all parties except Clark were named as defendants because they are claimants to the Farm, which of course State Farm Fire and Casualty has, by virtue of the policy, which it had issued.

So the two questions which are raised, one --

Justice Bernnan:

[Inaudible] but the money came in court --

Otto R. Skopil, Jr.:

Yes the --

Justice Bernnan:

[Inaudible] liability to that extent?

Otto R. Skopil, Jr.:

Well, we admit liability – we can't admit liability on the part of the Mr. Clark of course are insured but we do tendered the $20,000 in the court and it is deposit, has been on the deposit with the registry of the court since January 1965, as a matter of fact.

Byron R. White:

If his liability, if your insured liability as established then you admit your liability or you don't admit coverage either, do you?