An unpublished opinion of the North Carolina Court of Appeals does not constitute controlling legal authority. Citation is disfavored, but may be permitted in accordance with the provisions of Rule 30(e)(3) of the North Carolina Rules of Appellate Proced ure.

NO. COA04-1230

NORTH CAROLINA COURT OF APPEALS

Filed: 17 May 2005

STATE AUTOMOBILE MUTUAL
INSURANCE COMPANY and STATE
AUTO PROPERTY AND CASUALTY
INSURANCE COMPANY,
        Plaintiffs,

v .                         Wake County
                            No. 03 CVS 11796
CAROL B. IADANZA, ANTHONY J
IADANZA, ROBERT N HARPER, JR.,
MD, and RLI INSURANCE COMPANY,
        Defendants.

    Appeal by defendant RLI Insurance Company from order of summary judgment entered 10 June 2004 by Judge Orlando F. Hudson, Jr. in Wake County Superior Court. Heard in the Court of Appeals 22 April 2005.

    Teague, Campbell, Dennis & Gorham, L.L.P., by Henry W. Gorham and Jacob H. Wellman, for plaintiff-appellees.

    Kennedy, Covington Lobdell & Hickman, L.L.P., by John L. Sarratt, for defendant-appellant RLI Insurance Company.

    STEELMAN, Judge.

    On 7 January 2003 Carol Iadanza filed a complaint in Wake County Superior Court seeking to recover monetary damages arising out of alleged medical malpractice against Robert N. Harper, Jr., M.D. and Digestive Diseases Diagnostic Center, P.A. (Wake County action 03-228). Dr. Harper filed a counterclaim against Carol Iadanza, and a third-party complaint against Robert Iadanza on 10 March 2003, which was amended 17 March 2003, asserting seven claimsfor relief: slander per se; unfair and deceptive trade practices; civil conspiracy; facilitation of fraud; malicious prosecution; abuse of process; and punitive damages. State Auto and Casualty Insurance Company had issued a policy of liability insurance to the Iadanzas on their primary residence in Wake County, North Carolina, on their secondary residence in Holden Beach, and a personal umbrella policy. Defendant, RLI Insurance Company, issued other insurance policies to the Iadanzas. State Auto Mutual Insurance Company and State Auto Property and Casualty Insurance Company (collectively State Auto) filed this action seeking a declaratory judgment that they had no duty to defend the Iadanzas from Dr. Harper's claims against them; that defendant RLI had a duty to reimburse State Auto for expenses incurred in defending the Iadanzas; and that costs be taxed against some other party. State Auto moved for summary judgment, asserting there was no material issue of fact that none of the policies issued by them to the Iadanzas provided coverage for Dr. Harper's claims, and thus they had no duty to defend the Iadanzas in Wake County action 03-228. From the trial court's order granting summary judgment in favor of State Auto, defendant RLI appeals.
    Defendant RLI's brief asserts it is appealing from a final judgment. However, the record reveals that this is not the case. State Auto's complaint stated two distinct claims: (1) a claim for declaratory judgment that it did not have a duty to defend the Iadanzas as to Dr. Harper's claims; and (2) for a declaratory judgment that defendant RLI had a duty to reimburse State Auto forall costs incurred in defending the Iadanzas. State Auto's motion for summary judgment was limited to the first claim, and Judge Hudson's order was expressly limited to the first claim. The record before this court is devoid of any indication that the second claim was disposed of by means of stipulation or order of the trial court. Judge Hudson's order did not dispose of the entire case, and is therefore interlocutory. North Carolina Dep't of Transp. v. Page, 119 N.C. App. 730, 733, 460 S.E.2d 332, 334 (1995).
    There is no certification by the trial court pursuant to Rule 54(b) of the North Carolina Rules of Civil Procedure, and defendant RLI does not argue that this appeal affects a substantial right. “There is no more effective way to procrastinate the administration of justice than that of bringing cases to an appellate court piecemeal through the medium of successive appeals from intermediate orders.” Veazey v. Durham, 231 N.C. 357, 363, 57 S.E.2d 377, 382 (1950). This is an improper interlocutory appeal and must be dismissed. Jeffreys v. Raleigh Oaks Joint Venture, 115 N.C. App. 377, 444 S.E.2d 252 (1994).
    APPEAL DISMISSED.
    Judges TIMMONS-GOODSON and McCULLOUGH concur.
    Report per Rule 30(e).

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