Car insurance fight challenges VA same sex marriage law - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

On Your Side Investigators: Car insurance fight challenges VA same-sex marriage law

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA (WWBT) -

Many of us have fought with a car insurance company over a claim, but a Chester couple is taking their battle to court, and it could be a landmark legal decision for Virginia.

At 65 miles an hour on Interstate 95, another driver with no insurance turned Kimberly Tucker and Jennifer Frazier's world upside down.

"All of a sudden, she hits the car. We end up going into the guardrail. I've never been so scared before in my life," said Tucker.

"First thing I was thinking, 'Oh my God, we're going to die,'" added Frazier.

Tucker now needs a cane to get around. She injured her back and has nerve damage and a weakened left leg. The couple has been together for seven years. At the time of the crash in June of 2010, they were married just 17 days.

"I did not cause the accident. I was just in the wrong place at the wrong time," said Tucker.

The other driver didn't have insurance. With her medical bills mounting, Tucker tried to access her wife Frazier's underinsured motorist coverage. She also tried to access the same coverage of her in-laws, who they live with.

State Farm Mutual Auto Insurance denied the claim.

"State Farm's position is that a same sex marriage that is recognized in another place other than Virginia is not recognized under this Virginia policy," said Lori Smith, the couple's attorney.

Smith argues, if the couple lived in D.C., State Farm would honor the claim because gay marriage is legal there and that's where they got married. She says the policy doesn't mention that a marriage must be recognized by the state where you live. 

"There would be no issue if this couple were man and woman," said Smith.

They are suing Sate Farm in federal court for access to $350,000 in insurance policies. In court documents State Farm argues "no coverage is available under the policies in question."

"It makes you feel really bad, like you're not as important as other people," said Tucker through tears. "If another couple, who were husband and wife, had the same thing happen to them, they wouldn't have any problems. But for us, nothing happens."

"It's frustrating. It makes me angry. Because we can't move on with our lives until this is resolved," added Frazier.

Prior to the accident, they lived active lives, attending sporting events, playing softball, going fishing - all of those activities now a stretch with Kimberly's injuries. They hope going public with their private battle opens doors.

"If it doesn't help us, eventually it's going to help somebody, and that's important," said  Tucker. 

We reached out to State Farm's attorney for comment or an on camera interview. He declined. The case is in federal court in Charlottesville and could be headed for a trial.

Copyright 2013 WWBT NBC12.  All rights reserved.

  • Latest news from NBC12.comNEWSMore>>

  • Congress settles for stopgap to avoid government shutdown

    Congress settles for stopgap to avoid government shutdown

    Saturday, April 29 2017 6:19 PM EDT2017-04-29 22:19:54 GMT
    Saturday, April 29 2017 6:19 PM EDT2017-04-29 22:19:54 GMT

    President Donald Trump seems destined to serve his 100th day in office without House passage of a Republican health care bill or enactment of a budget financing the government for the rest of this year.

    More >>

    President Donald Trump seems destined to serve his 100th day in office without House passage of a Republican health care bill or enactment of a budget financing the government for the rest of this year.

    More >>
  • FORECAST: Our Summer-like weekend continues

    FORECAST: Our Summer-like weekend continues

    Saturday, April 29 2017 6:11 PM EDT2017-04-29 22:11:07 GMT

    Get the latest forecast from the NBC12 First Alert Weather team.

    More >>

    Get the latest forecast from the NBC12 First Alert Weather team.

    More >>
  • Bicyclist identified in deadly Richmond crash

    Bicyclist identified in deadly Richmond crash

    Saturday, April 29 2017 4:31 PM EDT2017-04-29 20:31:14 GMT

    Police say a man has died, after being struck by a car, while he was riding a bicycle in Richmond's southside. It happened just after 10:30 p.m. Friday in the 1600 block of Hopkins Road. Officers say when they arrived at the scene, the bicyclist was already dead. We're still working to learn if the driver is facing any charges. Stay with NBC 12 for updates. Copyright 2017 WWBT NBC12. All rights reserved Report an Error or Submit a Tip to NBC12

    More >>

    Police say a man has died, after being struck by a car, while he was riding a bicycle in Richmond's southside. It happened just after 10:30 p.m. Friday in the 1600 block of Hopkins Road. Officers say when they arrived at the scene, the bicyclist was already dead. We're still working to learn if the driver is facing any charges. Stay with NBC 12 for updates. Copyright 2017 WWBT NBC12. All rights reserved Report an Error or Submit a Tip to NBC12

    More >>
  • Trending StoriesTrending StoriesMore>>

  • 'The Phantom' serial killer of children out of prison, living in Tucson

    'The Phantom' serial killer of children out of prison, living in Tucson

    Thursday, April 27 2017 12:17 AM EDT2017-04-27 04:17:43 GMT
    Friday, April 28 2017 11:32 PM EDT2017-04-29 03:32:02 GMT
    Convicted killer William Huff was spotted riding his bicycle through a Tucson neighborhood. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)Convicted killer William Huff was spotted riding his bicycle through a Tucson neighborhood. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)

    William Huff terrorized Sierra Vista during the spring and summer of 1967. Despite a sentence of 40 years to life, the Arizona Board of Executive Clemency voted to release him from prison into home arrest. Family members of the victims are concerned for the safety of the community, as are new members of the Clemency Board. CBS 5 Investigates videotaped Huff riding a bike through his Tucson neighborhood. There are no restrictions placed on his proximity to children.

    More >>

    William Huff terrorized Sierra Vista during the spring and summer of 1967. Despite a sentence of 40 years to life, the Arizona Board of Executive Clemency voted to release him from prison into home arrest. Family members of the victims are concerned for the safety of the community, as are new members of the Clemency Board. CBS 5 Investigates videotaped Huff riding a bike through his Tucson neighborhood. There are no restrictions placed on his proximity to children. 

    More >>
  • Severe reaction to new sandals leads woman on a painful path

    Severe reaction to new sandals leads woman on a painful path

        One woman wants to warn people about her painful path, the result of a severe and debilitating allergic reaction.  She had no idea what she was allergic to until she visited a fourth emergency room in two weeks.    

    More >>

    One woman wants to warn people about her painful path, the result of a severe and debilitating allergic reaction. She had no idea what she was allergic to until she visited a fourth emergency room in two weeks.    

    More >>
  • 'I got 2 clips!' Impatient mom pulls out gun, threatens barber cutting son's hair

    'I got 2 clips!' Impatient mom pulls out gun, threatens barber cutting son's hair

    Friday, April 28 2017 5:45 PM EDT2017-04-28 21:45:21 GMT
    (Source: Crime Stoppers of Cuyahoga County Facebook)(Source: Crime Stoppers of Cuyahoga County Facebook)

    Police are looking for a woman who pointed a gun at a barber all because her son's haircut was taking too long.

    More >>

    Police are looking for a woman who pointed a gun at a barber all because her son's haircut was taking too long.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly