OK Supreme Court Decisions: May 24, 2001

Article excerpt

Supreme Court of the State of Oklahoma

For week ended May 22.

State of Oklahoma, ex rel. Oklahoma Bar Association, vs. David A. Kaserman, SCBD No. 4570.

In the decision, the court ordered that the resignation of David A. Kaserman, pending disciplinary proceedings be approved. Kaserman had two grievances filed against him: converting trust funds to his personal benefit and allowing the statute of limitations to run in his representation of a client. In ordering his resignation be approved, the court also ordered that Kaserman's name be stricken from the roll of attorneys.

Oklahoma Court of Civil Appeals

Winfred Nimrod Graham, vs. Travelers Insurance Co., No. 95,318.

In 1997, Winfred Nimrod Graham was involved in an automobile accident while employed by and on duty for CKE Restaurants. CKE had an automobile policy with Travelers Insurance Co., which included UM/ UIM coverage. Pursuant to that policy, Graham sought UIM benefits; however, Travelers denied his claim. Graham then sued Travelers. The trial court granted summary judgment in favor of Travelers, ruling that there was no UM/UIM coverage for Graham under CKE's policy, as Graham was an occupant of a non-owned vehicle, and that Graham was not an insured of Travelers. Graham appealed.

On appeal, the court noted that the issue of whether 36 O.S. Supp. 2000, Section 3636 requires that UM/UIM coverage be provided to the same class of persons covered for liability was one of first impression. The court concluded section 3636 requires that UM/UIM coverage be provided to the same class of persons covered under the liability portion of an insurance policy. In its ruling, the court stated that its holding was consistent with the purpose of Oklahoma's Uninsured Motorist Act, which is to place the insured in the same position he would have been in if the negligent uninsured motorist had complied with Oklahoma laws concerning financial responsibility. See Moser v. Liberty Mut. Ins. Co., 731 P.2d 406, 408 (Okla. 1986).

Connecticut Indemnity Co., and H&M Steel, vs. Joe Catlin, H&M Steel, and CNA Insurance, No. 95,535.

Claimant Joe Catlin sustained bilateral carpal tunnel syndrome from repetitive motion during the course and scope of his employment as a welder/fitter for employer H&M Steel Inc. …