and County of Denver District Court No. 16CV30510 Honorable
Jay S. Grant, Judge
Firm of William Babich, LLC, William Babich, Denver,
Colorado, for Plaintiff-Appellant
Powers & Robinson, P.C., Jack D. Robinson, Ursula J.
Honigman, Denver, Colorado, for Defendant-Appellee
1 In this claim for uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM)
benefits, plaintiff, Rickey Airth, appeals the district
court's entry of summary judgment in favor of defendant,
Zurich American Insurance Company (Zurich). We affirm.
2 Airth was seriously injured in an accident while operating
a semitruck owned by his employer, Sole Transport LLC, doing
business as Solar Transport Company (Solar). He had been
struck by a negligent, uninsured driver.
3 Solar had UM/UIM insurance coverage of $50, 000 for its
employees through a policy issued by Zurich.
4 Airth brought a claim for declaratory relief seeking to
reform Solar's policy to provide UM/UIM coverage of $1,
000, 000. He alleged in his complaint that he was entitled to
the higher amount of coverage because Zurich had failed, as
required by section 10-4-609, C.R.S. 2017, to (1) offer Solar
UM/UIM coverage in an amount equal to its bodily injury
liability coverage (i.e., $1, 000, 000) and (2) produce a
written rejection by Solar of such an offer of UM/UIM
5 On cross-motions for summary judgment, the district court
entered judgment for Zurich, ruling, as a matter of law, that
. Zurich's documents "put [Solar]
on notice sufficient so that [it] could make an intelligent
decision in opting to not obtain more coverage, and satisfied
[Zurich's] duty to offer coverage to Solar,
" and adequately offered Solar UM/UIM
coverage in an amount equal to the bodily injury liability
limits of the policy; and
. "[t]here is no requirement that the
rejection of UM/UIM limits in an amount equal to liability
limits must be in writing."
6 On appeal, Airth contends that the district court's
rulings on both issues were incorrect, and that the court
therefore erred in granting Zurich's motion for summary
judgment and denying his cross-motion.
7 Summary judgment is proper when there is no genuine issue
as to any material fact and the moving party is entitled to
judgment as a matter of law. Geiger v. Am. Standard Ins.
Co. of Wis., 192 P.3d 480, 482 (Colo.App. 2008). We
review a grant or denial of summary judgment de novo.
8 The "offer" and "rejection" issues
presented on appeal turn on either an application or
interpretation of subsections 10-4-609(1)(a) and (2), the
texts of which are set forth in Appendix A to this opinion.
9 Subsection 10-4-609(1)(a) prohibits an insurer from issuing
an automobile liability policy unless a minimum amount of
UM/UIM coverage is included in the policy, except where the
named insured rejects UM/UIM coverage in
writing. Subsection 10-4-609(2) requires an
insurer, "[b]efore the policy is issued or renewed,
" to "offer the named insured the right to obtain
uninsured motorist coverage in an amount equal to the
insured's bodily injury liability limits, but in no event
shall the insurer be required to offer limits higher than the
insured's bodily injury liability limits."
10 The facts are undisputed.
11 Prior to the renewal of Solar's policy, Zurich sent
Solar correspondence along with a package of documents
pertaining to Solar's rights related to UM/UIM coverage
under the laws of all fifty states. A person representing
himself as ...