THE VILLAGES (CBSMiami/NSF) – A state appeals court ruled Friday that an automobile insurer must cover damages caused by a policy holder who was driving a modified golf cart at the time of the accident.
The case started in February 2008, when Security National Insurance policyholder Ralph Snyder, while driving the modified golf cart on a public road in The Villages, sideswiped a car and then crashed into a stopped golf cart driven by John Angelotta.
The collision injured Angelotta, who filed a lawsuit against Snyder.
Angellota, who died during the appeal, won a $70,515 judgment against Snyder, which ultimately led to the dispute with the insurer.
The 5th District Court of Appeal reversed a Sumter County circuit judge’s ruling that was in favor of Security National Insurance Co.
The appeals court found that the souped-up golf cart, unlike typical golf carts, met the legal definition of a “low-speed vehicle” and that insurance coverage applied.
“It was designed for use on Florida’s highways and was required by federal and state law to have numerous items of safety equipment to help insure its safe operation on public roads,” the unanimous ruling by a three-judge panel said.
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