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Allstate Ins. Co. v. Hague

United States Supreme Court
449 U.S. 302 (1981)


Facts

Ralph Hague died when a car hit the motorcycle on which he was riding as a passenger. The accident occurred in Wisconsin near the Minnesota border. Hague and the drivers of the vehicles in the accident were all residents of Wisconsin, although Hague had been employed in Minnesota for the previous 15 years. Neither driver had insurance. Hague held an insurance policy issued by Allstate Insurance Co. (Allstate) (defendant). The policy, which was made in Wisconsin but did not specify any applicable law, covered three automobiles and included uninsured motorist coverage capped at $15,000 per covered vehicle. Hague’s wife (Mrs. Hague) moved to Minnesota after her husband’s death and later married a Minnesota resident. The state of Minnesota appointed her the personal representative of Hague’s estate (plaintiff). In that capacity, she filed an action in Minnesota District Court seeking a declaration that Hague’s uninsured motorist coverage for three vehicles could be “stacked” in accordance with Minnesota law, thereby providing $45,000 of coverage. Allstate argued that Wisconsin law should be applied. “Stacking” was permitted in most states but not Wisconsin. The court sided with Mrs. Hague, as did the Minnesota Supreme Court on appeal. Allstate petitioned the United States Supreme Court for certiorari.

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Dissent (Powell, J.)

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