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GAMBALE v. ALLSTATE INSURANCE COMPANY (03/23/67)

decided: March 23, 1967.

GAMBALE, APPELLANT,
v.
ALLSTATE INSURANCE COMPANY



Appeal from judgment of Court of Common Pleas of Delaware County, No. 3580 of 1964, in case of Frank Gambale v. Allstate Insurance Company.

COUNSEL

Michael J. Cantwell, Jr., for appellant.

John S. J. Brooks, for appellee.

Ervin, P. J., Wright, Watkins, Montgomery, Jacobs, Hoffman, and Spaulding, JJ. Opinion by Watkins, J.

Author: Watkins

[ 209 Pa. Super. Page 331]

This is an appeal from the order of the Court of Common Pleas of Delaware County entering judgment in favor of the plaintiff-appellant, Frank Gambale, and against Allstate Insurance Company, in the amount of $355.60 with interest, on a case stated.

The action in assumpsit began before a Justice of the Peace to recover damages to an automobile under a liability insurance policy. Judgment was entered in the amount of $413.20 and costs. On appeal to the Court of Common Pleas, a Board of Arbitration entered judgment for the appellant in the amount of $413.20.

On appeal to the court below the matter was presented on a case stated. The court below entered judgment for the appellant in the sum of $355.60 with interest. Exceptions were argued before the court en banc and dismissed. This appeal followed.

The narrow issue before the court is whether the contract of insurance requires the insurance company to pay more than the lowest acceptable estimate, since the repairs are less than the value of the vehicle.

On December 26, 1963, the appellant's car was damaged in an accident. The stipulation of the parties for the case stated set forth that the appellant procured two estimates for the repair of the damage to the car, one for $455.60 and the other for $513.20; that the policy provided for a $100 deduction; that the difference in the bids was due to a difference in labor costs -- one repairman paid mechanics $5 per hour and the other paid $6 per hour; that the parties are in agreement that both repairmen are reputable and would do a proper repair job; that there is no question concerning the quality of the workmanship if done by either;

[ 209 Pa. Super. Page 332]

    that each repairman would introduce testimony that $6 per hour and $5 per hour respectively, is fair and reasonable and is the rate charged by a number of other repair shops in the surrounding community; and that the appellee did not advise the ...


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