Kevin L. HOWELL, Appellant
USAA CASUALTY INSURANCE COMPANY, Appellee.
[Copyrighted Material Omitted]
Thomas Quitman Brame Jr., Bay Springs, attorney for appellant.
Nancy L. Siples Brumbeloe, attorney for appellee.
Before LEE, C.J., ROBERTS and CARLTON, JJ.
¶ 1. Kevin Howell appeals the dismissal of his case by the Forrest County Circuit Court. The trial court granted summary judgment in favor of USAA Casualty Insurance Company and dismissed Howell's case after finding Howell failed to provide evidence to support his allegation that he constituted a resident of Hunstville, Alabama. Finding no error, we affirm.
¶ 2. On May 2, 2006, Feliciana Winniford and Howell collided while driving separate vehicles on Hardy Street in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. Howell was operating a Kawasaki motorcycle and driving east on Hardy Street, and Winniford was operating a Dodge Caravan and driving north on 37th Avenue. Winniford ran the stop sign at the intersection of Hardy Street and 37th Avenue, causing Howell's motorcycle to strike the front-left side of her van. Howell suffered a spinal-cord injury, which rendered him a paraplegic.
¶ 3. On March 24, 2009, Howell filed suit against Winniford and USAA in the Forrest County Circuit Court, alleging entitlement to the policy limits under three separate USAA liability policies: his own Mississippi policy, his mother's Alabama policy, and his brother's Georgia policy. Winniford could not be located and therefore did not receive service of process. Howell claimed that he owned three vehicles insured by USAA, and each policy provided $25,000 per person in uninsured-motorist (UM) coverage, for " stacked" UM policy limits of $75,000. Howell's mother, Glenna Howell, possessed an automobile insured by USAA, with UM benefits of $20,000 per person. Howell's brother, Trent Howell, possessed two automobiles insured by USAA, each of which provided UM bodily-injury limits of $100,000 per person, for a " stacked" $200,000 UM coverage.
¶ 4. Howell argued that in addition to being a resident of Forrest County, Mississippi, he maintained residences at Glenna's home in Huntsville, Alabama, and Trent's home in Douglasville, Georgia, and therefore qualified as a covered insured under their auto-insurance policies, as well as his
own. USAA eventually paid $75,000 for the three " stacked" vehicles on the Mississippi policy upon which Howell was named insured, leaving only the Alabama and Georgia policies before the court. USAA denied that Howell met the definition of an insured for UM purposes under both Glenna's and Trent's policies.
¶ 5. On April 30, 2010, USAA filed a motion for summary judgment, disputing Howell's claim that he was a resident of either Glenna's home or Trent's home. Specifically, USAA pointed to facts from Howell's deposition that established him as a long-time Mississippi resident. Arguments on the motion were heard on August 27, 2010. On September 3, 2010, Howell filed a motion seeking leave to file his first amended complaint to add an allegation that Trent was also a resident of the Huntsville, Alabama home. Howell's motion was noticed for hearing four times but postponed each time due to conflicts with the court or counsel for one of the parties. The motion was heard on August 26, 2011. At the hearing, the trial court granted USAA's motion for summary judgment and ...