Jump to Navigation

Tractor-Trailer Hit Car

Carrier Refused Coverage Under 'Bobtailing' Policy

$1.36 Million Judgment

In 1998 Michael Carmody was killed when his car collided with a tractor-trailer truck on Route H in Dent County. Donna Carmody, his wife, was a passenger and was seriously injured, suffering a closed head injury, two broken legs and severe scarring.

The truck driver, employed by S&H Transportation, was "bobtailing" at the time of the accident that is, he was driving the tractor without a trailer. S&H Transportation had trucking and bobtailing coverage on the truck through St. Paul Fire and Marine Insurance Company.

Donna Carmody sued S&H Transportation and the driver for her personal injuries and for the wrongful death of her husband. The wrongful death case settled for $1 million, the policy limits under the bobtailing policy.

But St. Paul denied coverage for Donna's injuries, arguing that the trucking policy did not apply since the truck did not have a trailer. Donna won a $2,361,000 judgment on her claim in St. Louis City Circuit Court in May 2000.

St. Paul then filed a declaratory judgment action in federal court and Carmody counterclaimed for equitable garnishment. The parties each filed motions for summary judgment. The court granted Carmody's motions and entered a judgment of $1,361,000, representing policy limits of $1 million and $361,000 in interest.

15 M.L.W.649, June 04, 2001

Disclaimer: Past results afford no guarantee of future results. Every case is different and must be judged on its own merits.

Community involvement

  • Purchased 2013 Grand Champion Steer at the Crawford County Fair.
  • Mid-Missouri Stealers Baseball
  • Mid-Ozark CASA Program
  • National MS Society


  • 2013 Bar Registration of Preeminent Lawyers
  • Missouri and Kansas Super Lawyers Magazine Top Attorney

Legal Issue? Contact Us.

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.