Motorist Mut. Ins. Co. v. Handlovic

23 Ohio St.3d 179, 492 N.E.2d 417 (1986)

Handlovics were in a car accident with Ballantyne, who was only insured for $25,000. Handlovics sued Ballantyne and received a jury verdict in their favor. Handlovics sought additional compensation under their own underinsured coverage with limits of $100,000. Motorist Mutual rejected this demand.

The Supreme Court held that if an insured (Handlovics) prosecutes a lawsuit against a motorist who is underinsured (Ballantyne) with the knowledge of the insured’s insurance company (Motorist Mutual), both the insured and the insurance company are bound by the final judgment rendered.

This decision permits Ohio citizens to try their case once in court and forever bid the wrongdoer and all insurance companies that have issued underinsurance coverage applicable to the collision.