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Worker’s Compensation

WI Court of Supreme Court

Case Name: Secura Supreme Insurance Company v. The Estate of Daniel Keith Huck

Case No.: 2020AP001078-FT

Officials: Patience Drake Roggensack, J.

Focus:  Worker’s Compensation

Petitioner Secura Supreme Insurance Company (Secura), which insured Daniel Keith Huck, seeks review of a published court of appeals decision that affirmed an order granting judgment to the Estate of Daniel Keith Huck (Estate). The supreme court affirms the court of appeals.

The supreme court interprets Secura’s policy as precluding Secura from reducing its liability to the Estate by the total amount of payments the Estate initially received. The Estate first received worker’s compensation from Huck’s employer’s worker’s compensation insurer (WC insurer), and then a settlement from the tortfeasor’s insurer. Wisconsin Stat. § 102.29(1)(b)(202122)3 obligated the Estate to reimburse the WC insurer with a portion of the settlement it received from the tortfeasor. Secura’s underinsured motorist (UIM) policy contemplated payments made in accordance with worker’s compensation law in its reducing clause, and obligated the Estate to reimburse the WC insurer. The policy also required the Estate to exhaust any other bodily injury liability bonds or policies and to receive payment from them before Secura would pay UIM benefits. Accordingly, the supreme court concludes the policy’s plain language required its payment of UIM benefits based on the Estate’s recovery after reimbursements to the WC insurer and collection of the tortfeasor’s liability payment had occurred.

Decided 03/22/23

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