Notable Cases

Stacking of Automobile Uninsured Motorist Coverage

Dorothy Ferguson was severely injured in a motor vehicle accident case. The responsible third party was insured with coverage of $25,000 limit of liability. Dorothy Ferguson had three vehicles insured by U. S. F. & G. Company, and each vehicle had $25,000 underinsured motorist coverage. The Mississippi Supreme Court had struggled for years with the issue of stacking coverage of uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. Decisions had turned on how the premiums were paid, the number of policies and policy language. Finally, in the Ferguson case, the Mississippi Supreme Court, in a sweeping decision, declared that it was against public policy for insurance companies to try to avoid stacking of coverages. In this one decision, the Supreme Court had cleared up years of confusing and often conflicting decisions. This is another example of cases handled by Farese, Farese & Farese, P. A., that have had a positive impact on Mississippians. U. S. Fidelity and Guaranty Company v. Ferguson, 698 So. 2d 77 (7/31/97)

Legal Right of a Spouse To Sue The Other Spouse for Injuries
In Mississippi, it had long been the law that a husband could not sue a wife nor a wife sue a husband for personal injuries. This law was successfully challenged by Farese, Farese & Farese, P. A., in the case of Burns v. Burns, 579 So. 2d 571 (5/22/91). Ms. Burns was intentionally beaten by her husband. She sued him for damages. Mr. Burns defended by asserting spousal immunity. In a landmark decision, the Mississippi Supreme Court struck down the antiquated law that had stood since the formation of the State and provided a remedy for a spouse injured, intentionally or negligently by the other spouse. Citizens of Mississippi have benefited from the results of this historical case. This case opened the door for injured children to recovery for injuries caused by the negligence acts of a parent.