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AMBRIDGE BOROUGH v. HOME MUTUAL CASUALTY CO. (06/11/58)

June 11, 1958

AMBRIDGE BOROUGH, APPELLANT,
v.
HOME MUTUAL CASUALTY CO.



Appeal, No. 46, April T., 1958, from judgment of Court of Common Pleas of Beaver County, March T., 1957, No. 61, in case of Borough of Ambridge v. Home Mutual Casualty Company. Judgment affirmed.

COUNSEL

W. Walter Braham, Jr., with him Reed, Ewing, Orr & Reed, for appellant.

Charles McC. Barrickman, with him Wallover and Barrickman, for appellee.

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

Author: Wright

[ 186 Pa. Super. Page 194]

OPINION BY WRIGHT, J.

The Borough of Ambridge, plaintiff, filed a complaint in assumpsit against the Home Mutual Casualty Company, defendant. An answer was filed by the defendant setting up new matter, to which the plaintiff replied. Both parties presented motions for judgment on the pleadings. The court below granted defendant's motion, and judgment was accordingly entered for the defendant. The plaintiff has appealed. The factual situation appears in the following excerpt from the opinion of the court below:

"On September 14, 1953, the Home Mutual Casualty Company, defendant, issued to the Borough of Ambridge, plaintiff, a policy of insurance numbered GL2544, which is designated a public liability policy, to be in force from October 10, 1953 until October 10, 1954. This policy was a contract 'to pay on behalf of the insured all sums which the insured shall become obligated to pay by reason of the liability imposed upon him by law for damages because of injury to or destruction of property... caused by accident and arising out of the hazards hereinafter defined'. The hazards covered are the ownership, maintenance or use of the premises for the purposes of the business of a municipality. Among the premises covered by the policy are twenty-eight miles of streets and sidewalks of the Borough of Ambridge.

"On October 17, 1953, at 11:00 A.M. an employee of the plaintiff, the Borough of Ambridge, was operating a roller belonging to the plaintiff up the grade of Rice Avenue, a borough street within the borough limits of the plaintiff, when the motor of the roller stalled, causing it to roll back down Rice Avenue and crash into a garage owned by Theodore Janicki and Sophie Janicki, his wife. At the time of the accident the roller was being driven along Rice Avenue to a place

[ 186 Pa. Super. Page 195]

    where it was to be used in the maintenance and repair of the borough streets. Notice of the loss was given to the defendant on October 19, 1953, by its agent, John W. Soldressen, and on April 9, 1954, by the borough solicitor.

"At No. 54 September Term, 1953, in the Court of Common Pleas of Beaver County, Theodore Janicki and Sophie Janicki filed an action in trespass against the Borough of Ambridge. On October 17, 1955, a jury empaneled to try these proceedings returned a verdict in favor of Theodore Janicki and Sophie Janicki and against the Borough of Ambridge, in the amount of $2,439.00.

"Although the defendant, Home Mutual Casualty Company, had notice of the suit at No. 54 September Term, 1954, it denied coverage under its policy to the plaintiff and ...


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