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UNITED STATES v. GOVERNMENT EMPLES. INS. CO.

October 27, 1976

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff,
v.
GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES INSURANCE COMPANY, Defendant



The opinion of the court was delivered by: MACMAHON

MacMAHON, District Judge.

Plaintiff and defendant cross-move, pursuant to Rule 56, Fed.R.Civ.P., for summary judgment in this action for payment upon an automobile accident insurance policy. *fn1"

The underlying facts of this suit are undisputed. *fn2" Defendant, Government Employees Insurance Company ("GEICO"), issued a Family Combination Automobile Policy to Donald P. White, a member of the United States Navy. White was seriously injured in an automobile accident on or about March 17, 1972, while the policy was in full force and effect.

 The United States hospitalized White in the Veterans Administration Hospital in Albany, New York from March 17 to March 24, 1972, and in the St. Albans, New York Naval Hospital from March 24 to August 31, 1972, pursuant to its obligation to provide such care under 10 U.S.C. ยง 1074(a), which provides that "a member of a uniformed service who is on active duty is entitled to medical and dental care" without charge. In consideration of this care, White assigned to the United States all claims and causes of action he might have as a result of the accident.

 Plaintiff timely filed a notice of claim with GEICO, seeking reimbursement under the terms of White's insurance policy for the reasonable value of the medical care provided, $6,893.00. GEICO responded that the maximum allowable medical payment benefit under the terms of White's policy was $5,000.00.

 Furthermore, GEICO asserted that the United States was not eligible for reimbursement as a third-party beneficiary under the policy since the medical expenses in question were not "incurred" by White, the insured, because he had never become legally liable for their payment. Consequently, GEICO denied the government's claim and the United States commenced this action to recover $5,000.00 under White's policy.

 The pertinent provisions of the GEICO policy are as follows:

 
"PART II -- EXPENSES FOR MEDICAL SERVICES
 
Coverage C -- Medical Payments : To pay all reasonable expenses incurred within one year from the date of accident for necessary medical, surgical, X-ray and dental services, including prosthetic devices, and necessary ambulance, hospital, professional nursing and funeral services:
 
Division 1. To or for the named insured and each relative who sustains bodily injury, sickness or disease, including death resulting therefrom, hereinafter called 'bodily injury,' caused by accident,
 
(a) while occupying the owned automobile. . . .
 
CONDITIONS
 
* * *
 
7. Medical Reports; Proof and Payment of Claim ...

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