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August 24, 1990.


Paulette and Ricki Winters appeal from a declaratory judgment which construed a Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Company (Farm Bureau) automobile liability insurance policy's limits of liability.

In January 1988, a two-vehicle automobile collision occurred in Linn County. One vehicle was owned by George Sutterby and

[14 Kan. App. 2d 624]

      driven by Curtis Sutterby. The other vehicle was owned and occupied by Paulette and Ricki Winters. The Sutterby vehicle was insured by Farm Bureau.

As a result of the collision, both Paulette and Ricki suffered bodily injuries. Paulette claims to have incurred expenses in excess of $100,000 for bodily injuries. Ricki claims to have incurred expenses of approximately $12,000. The Farm Bureau policy's stated liability limits are $100,000 for "each person" and $300,000 for "each occurrence." The controversy presented concerns whether Farm Bureau's liability for Paulette's claim is limited to $100,000 or whether Paulette and Ricki combined could realize up to $300,000.

  Farm Bureau filed a petition for declaratory judgment in Johnson County District Court and moved for summary judgment. The court found that the insurance contract was not ambiguous and limited Farm Bureau's liability for Paulette and Ricki individually to a maximum recovery of $100,000. Ricki and Paulette timely appeal. The Sutterbys filed no answer to the petition for declaratory judgment and are not parties to this appeal.

  The question before us is whether the district court erred in finding the insurance contract unambiguous and limiting Farm Bureau's liability coverage to $100,000 for Paulette and Ricki individually.

  Our scope of review of a written contract is broad. "Regardless of the construction of the written contract made by the trial court, on appeal a contract may be construed and its legal effect determined by the appellate court." Patrons Mut. Ins. Ass'n v. Harmon, 240 Kan. 707, 713, 732 P.2d 741 (1987); Kansas Gas & Electric Co. v. Kansas Power & Light Co., 12 Kan. App. 2d 546, 551, 751 P.2d 146, rev. denied 243 Kan. 779 (1988). "This court can review the negotiated agreement and decide its legal effect. Regardless of the construction the district court gave the agreement, this court may independently construe the contract and determine its legal significance." NEA-Goodland v. U.S.D. No. 352, 13 Kan. App. 2d 558, 562, 775 P.2d 675, rev. denied 245 Kan. 785 (1989).

  The fact that summary judgment was entered by the district court is of no consequence. On a motion for summary judgment, both the district court and the appellate courts> are required to

[14 Kan. App. 2d 625]

      resolve all facts and draw all inferences in favor of the party against whom the ruling is sought. Bacon v. Mercy Hosp. of Ft. Scott, 243 Kan. 303, 306, 756 P.2d 416 (1988). In this case, there are no conflicting facts or inferences. The issue raised is purely a question of law over which this court's review is unlimited. Hutchinson Nat'l Bank & Tr. Co. v. Brown, 12 Kan. App. 2d 673, 674, 753 P.2d 1299, rev. denied 243 Kan. 778 (1988).

  The following language from the Farm Bureau insurance contract is the source of the debate:
"The limits of liability shown in the declarations apply subject to the following:
"1. The bodily injury liability limit for `each person' is the maximum for bodily injury sustained by one person in any one occurrence;
"2. The bodily injury liability limit for `each occurrence' is the maximum limit of liability for bodily injury sustained by two or more persons in any one occurrence."
The policy declarations recite a limit of $100,000 for each person and $300,000 for each occurrence.

  It is the Winters' contention that the policy is patently ambiguous, allowing $100,000 for injuries to one person in one occurrence, but also allowing $300,000 for injuries to two people in one occurrence. They argue that the two clauses are separate, and nothing in the policy ties them together. In support of their position, the Winters cite two Kansas cases which discuss the construction and interpretation of insurance contracts.

"`In determining the intention of the parties to a contract of insurance, the test is not what the insurer intends the printed language to mean, but rather what a reasonable person placed in the position of the insured would have understood the words to mean.'
. . . .
"`Where provisions of an insurance policy are ambiguous or conflicting, the policy is to be construed strictly against the insurer and in favor of the insured.'
"`Where an insurer intends to limit or restrict the coverage under its policy, it should use language which clearly reveals its stated purpose.' [Citation omitted.]" Alliance Life Ins. Co. v. Ulysses Volunteer Fireman's Relief Assn., 215 Kan. 937, 947-48, 529 P.2d 171 (1974).
  "It is a ...

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