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OWENS v. CONCORD MUTUAL INSURANCE COMPANY (06/16/67)

decided: June 16, 1967.

OWENS
v.
CONCORD MUTUAL INSURANCE COMPANY, APPELLANT



Appeal from judgment of County Court of Philadelphia, June T., 1966, No. 16646A, in case of Queen Victoria Owens v. Concord Mutual Insurance Company.

COUNSEL

Albert B. Gerber, with him Gerber, Galfand & Berger, for appellant.

Herbert Braker, for appellee.

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

Author: Watkins

[ 210 Pa. Super. Page 236]

This is an appeal from a judgment entered on an order of the County Court of Philadelphia confirming an arbitration award in the amount of $1450 for personal injuries sustained in an automobile accident in

[ 210 Pa. Super. Page 237]

    favor of the plaintiff-appellee, Queen Victoria Owens, and against the defendant-appellant, Concord Mutual Insurance Company.

The appellant company issued a policy of insurance to Mr. and Mrs. Clarence Lacy containing an "uninsured motorist coverage endorsement". The appellee on December 12, 1965, while a passenger in the Lacy automobile, sustained personal injuries as a result of a collision between the Lacy automobile and one operated by Charles C. Thompson an uninsured motorist. The company refused to settle the claim and arbitration proceedings were instituted by the appellee pursuant to the regulations of the American Arbitration Association. A hearing was held before an Edward M. Snyder, as arbitrator, and the attorney for the insurance company attended and defended the action. An award was entered in favor of the appellee in the sum of $1400, plus administration fees and expenses in the amount of $50.

The appellee filed a petition to confirm the award and the insurance company filed an answer, including new matter, averring that the uninsured motorist endorsement was not in effect, in that the wife Katherine A. Lacy, signed a rejection of the clause and did not pay the $2 premium for that coverage. The company further contended that although the policy was in the name of husband and wife, all transactions pertaining to the insurance were transacted with Mrs. Lacy. The appellant further attacked, in its answer, the jurisdiction of the arbitrator. The court below entered an order confirming the award of the arbitrator. Judgment was entered on the order and this appeal followed. The court below said:

"The record establishes that there was a legal question as to whether the plaintiff was entitled to proceed with arbitration. The defendant insurance company had the right, if it elected to exercise such right, to

[ 210 Pa. Super. Page 238]

    have the legal question determined by a Court. It could not be decided by the arbitrator. Goldstein v. International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union, 328 Pa. 385. This is so whether the arbitration proceedings are ...


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