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Cherry v. Elephant Ins. Co.

2018 IL App (5th) 170072 (Ill. App., 2018)

Words & Phrases

Underinsured Motorist Coverage: Stacking

Trial Judge

Joseph Jackson

Appellate Judge



UIM limits on the four vehicles covered by policy could be combined because the policy’s anti-stacking clause was ambiguous.

Fact Summary

The plaintiffs, Austin Cherry (Cherry) and Lesley Taylor (Taylor), were injured when Cherry’s vehicle was struck by an underinsured driver on June 6, 2015, in Massac County, Illinois. His vehicle was insured by the defendant, Elephant Insurance Company (Elephant). Both plaintiffs settled their bodily injury claims with the at-fault driver’s automobile insurer for $25,000, though their damages far exceeded that amount. The plaintiffs filed a complaint for declaratory judgment against Elephant on February 9, 2016, asking the circuit court to find that Elephant’s policy provides $300,000 in underinsured motorist coverage to both plaintiffs, as the policy allowed aggregation of the liability limits of the underinsured motorist coverage on four vehicles. The plaintiffs filed a motion for summary judgment on July 13, 2016, and Elephant filed a motion for summary judgment on August 30, 2016. On February 27, 2017, the circuit court entered an order denying the plaintiffs’ motion and granting Elephant’s motion. For the following reasons, we reverse the judgment of the circuit court.