Utah Statute Provides for Strict Liability Insurance Coverage for Drivers Who Cause Injuries While Suddenly Incapacitated

In questions certified by the United States District Court for the District of Utah, the Utah Supreme Court in Lancer Ins. Co. v. Lake Shore Motor Coach Lines, Inc., 2017 UT 8 (Utah Feb. 15, 2017) held that Utah Code Ann. Sec. 31A-22-303(l) required motor vehicle insurers to cover drivers who cause injuries because of sudden incapacitation on a strict liability basis.  The High Court found that the statute abrogated the state’s common-law “sudden incapacity” defense in which an incapacitated driver could raise incapacity as an affirmative defense, and injured parties could only recover under a showing of fault.  The insurer would only be liable to cover such injuries up to the amount available by the applicable automobile liability policy.

Written by Richard A. Vazquez

Rick Vazquez’s practice focuses on insurance, employment law, and cyber law, with an emphasis in representing insurance carriers in coverage, subrogation/recovery, and bad faith litigation.