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BERNAT v. SOCKE. (11/16/55)

November 16, 1955

BERNAT, APPELLANT,
v.
SOCKE.



Appeal, No. 145, Oct. T., 19558 from order of Court of Common Pleas No. 2 of Philadelphia County, March T., 1950, No. 7302, in case of Joseph Bernat et ux. v. Max Socke, and New Amsterdam Casualty Company. Order affirmed.

COUNSEL

Charles A. Lord, with him Richter, Lord & Farage, for appellant.

Ralph S. Croskey, for appellee.

Before Rhodes, P.j., Hirt, Ross, Gunther, Wright, Woodside, and Ervin, JJ.

Author: Gunther

[ 180 Pa. Super. Page 514]

OPINION BY GUNTHER, J.

Plaintiffs, husband and wife, sued defendant for damages arising from an automobile accident and wife received a verdict for $8,000 and husband for $2,000. Wife's verdict was for her personal injuries, while husband's was for medical expenses incurred for wife, loss of consortium and services, and damages to his automobile. Defendant's insurance carrier, the garnishee in this proceeding, paid wife plaintiff $5,000, has agreed to pay husband $250 for property damage, and contends that it has no further liability. Husband issued attachment execution on his judgment and served the insurance carrier as garnishee. In answer to interrogatories the garnishee set forth the defendant's insurance policy and a copy of a notice sent to defendant while the suit was pending. Husband plaintiff asked for judgment against garnishee on the pleadings which was refused by the court below and husband has appealed.

Husband plaintiff contends that the garnishee is liable for the entire $2,000 judgment in his favor and not merely the $250 property damage admittedly due. The applicable portions of defendant's insurance policy read as follows:

"1. COVERAGE A - BODILY INJURY LIABILITY. To pay on behalf of the insured all sums which the insured shall become legally obligated to pay as damages because of bodily injury, sickness, or disease, including

[ 180 Pa. Super. Page 515]

    death at any time resulting therefrom, sustained by any person, caused by accident and arising out of the ownership, maintenance or use of the automobile.

"1. LIMITS OF LIABILITY - Coverage A. The limit of bodily injury liability stated in the declarations as applicable to 'each person' in the limit of the company's liability for all damages, including damages for care and loss of services, arising out of bodily injury, sickness or disease, including death at any time resulting therefrom, sustained by one person in any one accident; the limit of such liability stated in the declarations as applicable to 'each accident' is, subject to the above provision respecting each person, the total limit of the company's liability for all damages, including damages for care and loss of services, arising out of bodily injury, sickness or disease, including death at any time resulting therefrom, sustained by two or more persons in any one accident."

It is contended that the above quoted limits of liability clause is ambiguous and therefore should be construed against the insurance company which drafted the policy. ...


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