Milwaukee. Gatzke Law won a $1.76 million judgment against AAA Insurance in a wrongful death motor vehicle accident case in Kenosha County, involving the family of Dawn Glogovsky.
That verdict was more than three times the amount originally identified as “policy limits” by the Minnesota-based insurance company. AAA, which insured the Glovovsky’s, originally claimed that the limits in the case were $500,000, but the attorneys at Gatzke Law closely reviewed the policy and determined that coverage for the three Glogovsky vehicles could be “stacked,” raising the policy limits to $1.5 million.
Frank, 44, Dawn, 45, and Remy Glogovsky, 16, were returning to their home in Bristol, a rural community in western Kenosha County at 10:45 p.m. on May 31, 2010 after spending the day at Frank’s sister’s home in Libertyville, Illinois. Frank was driving a 2006 Chevrolet Malibu. Dawn was in the front passenger seat. Remy was seated in the back seat behind Frank. Frank was driving northbound on US 45, a two lane rural highway, and as he approached the T-intersection with Highway N in Kenosha County, he slowed down to drive around road construction signs which had been erected near the intersection as a result of roadwork being done.
Frank had the right of way on US 45 as he came to the intersection with Highway N. Westbound Highway N ends at US 45 in a T intersection, and there is a stop sign at the intersection controlling traffic on Highway N. There is no stop sign for traffic on US 45. Immediately west of the intersection of Highway N and US 45 is a deep culvert and drainage ditch and then a farm field. The area is not well lit, but the sight lines along Highway N toward US 45 were not obstructed because the corn in the field had not yet grown. The evening was clear and dry, and there were no apparent obstructions preventing a vehicle traveling westbound on Highway N from seeing a vehicle traveling northbound on US 45 with its head lights “ON.”
Frank reported hearing screeching tires and within a matter of one to two seconds, a vehicle smashed into the passenger side of his car, near the pillar between the front and back doors. Frank indicates that he looked toward the sound as soon as he heard it, but never saw the car which struck him. Remy indicates that he also heard the sound of the squealing tires, and as he looked to his right, he noticed a vehicle traveling without its headlights on and headed directly toward their car. The Glogovsky vehicle was pushed to the west and thrown approximately 100’ into a farm field drainage ditch.
It turns out that the Glogovsky vehicle was struck by a car driven by an illegal alien, which was traveling at nearly 75 miles an hour when it struck them. If the Glogovsky vehicle had not been there, the car driven by the other motorist would have flown through the intersection and into the adjacent cornfield. Instead it struck Dawn Glogovsky where she sat in the front passenger seat, killing her and severely injuring Frank and Remy. The other motorist, who was intoxicated, and had been arrested on 15 prior occasions in Wisconsin and Illinois, but had never been deported, fled the scene on foot and hid out in the cornfield. From there he called friends who came to pick him up, but he was arrested about a mile from the accident by police who had been called out to find him.
The driver who struck the Glogovsky’s did not have insurance. Glogovsky’s claim, therefore, was against his own insurer, AAA and the uninsured motorist coverage that existed under the policy.
An analysis of the declarations section reveals that Glogovsky’s had three vehicles insured through AAA on his policy, each with an individual uninsured limit of $500,000, and each subject to a specific uninsured motorist premium of $12.46/payment period. Gatzke argued that because the insurance company made Glogovsky pay a separate $12.46 monthly premium for each of the three vehicles he had insured, he should be entitled to three times the uninsured limits, or $1.5 million, instead of just $500,000. AAA refused and Gatzke filed a motion for declaratory judgment on the issue. When he won on that issue, AAA agreed to pay the $1.5 million for Dawn’s insured claim and additional amounts for injuries suffered by Frank and Remy.
As a tragic aside to the story, just weeks prior to the accident, the other driver had been arrested in Racine County for driving without a license. A review of his record by Racine County authorities indicated that he was wanted on an outstanding warrant for cocaine distribution in Cook County, Illinois, and that a “hold order” had been placed on him in 2008 by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Racine County officials notified Cook County that they had him in custody, but Cook County, citing a federal order that had been issued directing them to ignore all ICE detentions, refused to pick him up. He was ultimately released after serving a short sentence in Racine County, and two weeks later he killed Dawn Glogovsky.