Motorist Rear-Ended by Fireman Not Entitled to Recover Uninsured Motorist Benefits

Mississippi’s Uninsured Motorist (UM) Act includes a section which requires automobile insurers to provide UM coverage to the extent the insured is “legally entitled to recover”. The UM Act goes on to define an “uninsured motor vehicle” to include vehicles “owned or operated by a person protected by immunity under the Mississippi Tort Claims Act” (MTCA). 

The fireman who rear-ended Jessica McGlothin’s vehicle in 2016 fell under the MTCA. McGlothin filed suit against the fireman, the fire department and the City of Biloxi, claiming negligence. She also included State Farm as a defendant. Claims against the fireman, fire department and city were dismissed and State Farm removed action against it to federal court.

The district court determined that McGlothin was entitled to recover UM benefits from State Farm, but the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals disagreed. Since McGlothin was not “legally entitled to recover” any benefits from the fireman, fire department or city due to MTCA immunity the court ruled State Farm was not required to provide UM benefits. Read the full details of this case