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Supreme Court of Kentucky
April 20, 2000, Rendered
[*374] OPINION OF THE COURT BY JUSTICE COOPER
On January 28, 1992, Appellee Cynthia Ann Schneider was operating her motor vehicle in Latonia, Kentucky, when she was rear-ended by a vehicle being operated by Tracy Mahan. Mahan was both intoxicated and uninsured at the time of the accident. Schneider was insured by a policy of insurance issued by Appellant Kentucky Central Insurance Company which contained the statutorily mandated uninsured motorists (UM) coverage. KRS 304.20-020. Schneider sued Mahan in the Kenton Circuit Court seeking both compensatory and punitive damages. Her husband, Appellee Stephen Wayne Schneider, joined in the action seeking damages for loss of consortium. When suit was filed, Mahan was an inmate in the Kentucky Correctional Institute [**2] for Women. A guardian ad litem appointed pursuant to CR 17.04 subsequently reported that Mahan had no insurance and no defense. Pursuant to CR 24.01(1), Kentucky Central intervened to defend its potential liability as the Schneiders' UM carrier.
The Schneiders' claims for compensatory damages have been settled, leaving only the issue of whether punitive damages awarded against an uninsured motorist are recoverable under the UM coverage of an injured party's automobile insurance policy. The Kenton Circuit Court entered a summary judgment holding that neither the UM statute, KRS 304.20-020, nor the UM provisions of Kentucky Central's policy afforded coverage for punitive damages. The Court of Appeals disagreed. We granted discretionary review and now reverse the Court of Appeals and reinstate the judgment of the Kenton Circuit Court.
] KRS 304.20-020(1) provides, inter alia, that every motor vehicle liability insurance policy shall provide coverage 'for the protection of persons insured thereunder who are legally entitled to recover damages from owners or operators of uninsured motor vehicles because of bodily injury, sickness or disease, including death." (Emphasis added. [**3] ) Accordingly, paragraph A of Part C of the policy of insurance issued by Kentucky Central to the Schneiders provides as follows:
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15 S.W.3d 373 *; 2000 Ky. LEXIS 45 **
KENTUCKY CENTRAL INSURANCE COMPANY, APPELLANT v. CYNTHIA ANNE SCHNEIDER; AND STEPHEN WAYNE SCHNEIDER, APPELLEES
Subsequent History: [**1] Released for Publication May 11, 2000. Certiorari Denied April 15, 2002, Reported at: 2002 U.S. LEXIS 2502.
Prior History: ON REVIEW FROM COURT OF APPEALS, 97-CA-813, KENTON CIRCUIT COURT NO. 93-CI-569.
coverage, punitive damages, damages, insured, bodily injury, uninsured, compensatory, insurance policy
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