Scott and Karie Hansmeier, appellants.
Merva Hansmeier and Western Insurors-Platte Valley Agency, appellees.
Summary Judgment. Summary judgment is proper
when the pleadings and evidence admitted at the hearing
disclose no genuine issue regarding any material fact or the
ultimate inferences that may be drawn from those facts and
that the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of
Summary Judgment: Appeal and Error. In
reviewing a summary judgment, an appellate court views the
evidence in the light most favorable to the party against
whom the judgment is granted and gives such party the benefit
of all reasonable inferences deducible from the evidence.
Negligence: Proof. To prevail in any
negligence action, a plaintiff must show a legal duty owed by
the defendant to the plaintiff, a breach of such duty,
causation, and resulting damages.
Insurance: Agents. An insurance agent has no
duty to anticipate what coverage an insured should have.
5. _: _
. When an insured asks an insurance agent to procure
insurance, the insured has a duty to advise the insurance
agent as to the desired insurance.
Insurance: Contracts: Breach of Contract:
Negligence. Absent evidence that an insurance agent
has agreed to provide advice or the insured was reasonably
led by the agent to believe he would receive advice, the
failure to volunteer information does not constitute either
negligence or breach of contract for which an insurance agent
must answer in damages.
Insurance: Agents. It would be an
unreasonable burden to impose upon insurance agents a duty to
anticipate what coverage an individual [25 Neb.App. 743]
should have, absent the insured's requesting coverage in
at least a general way. 8. Insurance: Agents:
Brokers. If an insurance agent or broker undertakes
to advise an insured, the agent or broker must use reasonable
care to provide accurate information.
Insurance: Agents: Brokers: Liability:
Negligence. An insurance agent or broker may be held
liable for a negligent misrepresentation made to an insured.
Insurance: Agents: Liability: Negligence:
Proof. In order for an insurance agent to be liable
for negligent misrepresentation, the client must show that
the insurance agent supplied the client with false
information upon which the client reasonably relied and that
the agent failed to exercise reasonable care or competence in
communicating such information to the client.
from the District Court for Keith County: Richard A. Birch,
D. Wurl, of Norman, Paloucek, Herman & Wurl, for
A. Minahan and Patrick G. Vipond, of Lamson, Dugan &
Murray, L.L.P., for appellees.
Pirtle, Bishop, and Arterburn, Judges.
and Karie Hansmeier filed a negligence claim against Merva
Hansmeier and her employer, Western Insurors-Platte Valley
Agency (Western Insurers), claiming that Merva improperly
advised them regarding the need to purchase workers'
compensation insurance for their farm and ranch operation.
The district court for Keith County granted Merva and Western
Insurers' motion for summary judgment. Scott and Karie
appeal, claiming that there are genuine issues of material
fact that prevent summary judgment. We affirm.
and his wife, Karie, live in Ogallala, Nebraska. Scott and
Karie own and operate a farm and ranch; they also [25
Neb.App. 744] rent farmland and pastureland. Scott and his
father are each sole proprietors of their own farming
operations, but work together and are "basically 50/50
partners." Scott said he does "all [of] the work,
" some of the farmland is owned by his father, they each
own their own machinery but use each other's as needed,
and they crop share. In 2012, Scott had two full-time
employees, including Mike Heble, and Scott's father had
one full-time employee. Scott said he paid Heble, Scott's
father paid his own employee, and they both paid the third
employee; "[t]hat's how we get 50/50 out of the
is Scott's aunt and was his insurance agent in 2012, and
for several years prior. In 2012, Scott got all of his
insurance through Merva, including his farm policy,
homeowner's insurance, auto insurance, and health
insurance. Scott did not provide any insurance for his
February 2, 2012, Heble injured his thumb in an auger while
loading grain out of a bin and into a truck, and his thumb
had to be "stitched . . . back on." When Scott
tried to file a farm liability claim with his insurance
company, he learned that Heble's injury was not covered.
2014, Heble filed a lawsuit against Scott, but that
workers' compensation claim was eventually settled for an
amount that included medical bills and a disability payment.
Scott and his father split the costs of the settlement. The
amount of the settlement was not put into evidence at the
summary judgment hearing. The date of the settlement is not
evident from our record; but it appears to have been after