A court has decided that an insurance company doesn’t have to pay for injuries to a truck driver for an accident after the other truck driver involved in the accident fled the county.
On October 19, 2016, Road Carriers truck driver Nurbek Aiazbekov was hauling a load of watermelons in Michigan on Interstate 94, when he got into an accident with truck driver Zef Ljajcaj.
According to the court report, “Aiazbekov, driving a load of watermelons in another semi, attempted to merge onto the interstate from Michigan’s Wel- come Center. Aiazbekov suddenly stalled and “jackknifed” into the middle lane. He also did not have his lights on. While Ljajcaj saw Aiazbekov’s truck jackknife, he could not avoid hitting the back of Aiazbekov’s trailer.”
Ljajacaj was injured in the crash. Court documents state that Ljajcaj suffered head, back and shoulder injuries that required multiple surgeries.
In July 2017, Ljajacaj filed a negligence lawsuit against Aiazbekov and Road Carriers.
National Continental, Road Carriers’ insurer paid for attorneys for both Road Carriers and for the driver, Aiazbekov.
In January of 2018, Aiazbekov fled the country.
The insurer, National Continental, made several attempts to track down Aiazbekovl, including hiring a private investigator.
The private investigator found that Aiazbekov fled to either Asia or Russia.
Council filed to withdraw from that case following that information.
In May, 2017 Ljajcaj agreed to settle with Road Carriers for $500,000 — half of the $1,000,000 coverage limit under National Continental’s insurance policy.
The settlement did not release Aiazbekov of his claims.
“Ljajcaj later obtained a default judgment of roughly $2.6 million against Aiazbekov,” the case states.
“Eighteen days after Aiazbekov’s counsel withdrew and several weeks before Ljajcaj moved for a default judgment against Aiazbekov in the state-court case, National Continental brought this diversity action against Aiazbekov, Ljajcaj, and Road Carriers,” the case states.
National Carriers fought back and said that under the terms of its policy with Road Carriers, the company does not have to cover Aiazbekov, station that Aiazbekov violated the company’s “cooperation: provision by fleeting the country.
Aiazbekov and Road Carriers both failed to answer the complaint.
Ljajcaj counterclaimed, saying that the cooperation provision was not justifiable or enforceable under Michigan law.
A judge sided with National Carriers and stated that Aiazbekov breached the insurance policy’s cooperation provision.
“This federal diversity case asks whether Road Carriers’ insurer, National Continental Insurance Company, must pay that state-court judgment. National Continental says it need not pay because Aiazbekov, by fleeing the country, breached a provision in Road Carriers’ insurance policy that required him to cooperate in the defense. The district court agreed, and we affirm,” the case states.