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Rooney v. State Farm Mut. Auto.

OPINION FILED OCTOBER 4, 1983.

JOHN ROONEY, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,

v.

STATE FARM MUTUAL AUTOMOBILE INSURANCE COMPANY, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. Arthur L. Dunne, Judge, presiding.

JUSTICE PERLIN DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:

Rehearing denied December 6, 1983.

Defendant, State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company (State Farm), appeals from an order of the trial court denying its motion for summary judgment and granting summary judgment to plaintiff, John Rooney (Rooney). On appeal, State Farm contends that because of Rooney's alleged failure to comply with the notice requirements of his State Farm auto insurance policy, the trial court erred in entering judgment in favor of Rooney in his action for declaratory judgment. Ill. Rev. Stat. 1979, ch. 110, par. 57.1.

Rooney allegedly sustained an injury to his lower back when, on January 10, 1980, at approximately 6:30 a.m., an automobile he owned and was driving was struck in the right rear by an unidentified vehicle. The accident occurred as Rooney slowed for another vehicle which was making a left turn on River Road in Franklin Park, Illinois.

The automobile insurance policy issued to Rooney by State Farm contained the following provisions:

"REPORTING A CLAIM — INSURED'S DUTIES

1. Notice to Us of an Accident of Loss.

The insured must give us or one of our agents written notice of the accident or loss as soon as reasonably possible.

4. Other Duties Under Medical Payments, Uninsured Motor Vehicle, Death, Dismemberment and Loss of Sight, and Loss of Earnings Coverages.

The person making claim also shall:

a. give us all the details about the death, injury, treatment and other information we need to determine the amount payable.

c. under the uninsured motor vehicle coverage:

(1) report a `hit-and-run' accident to the police within 24 hours and to us within 30 days.

SECTION III — UNINSURED MOTOR VEHICLE — COVERAGE U

Two questions must be decided by agreement between the insured and us:

1. Is the insured legally entitled to collect damages from the owner or driver of the ...


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