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MARGARET MCMONAGLE v. ALLSTATE INSURANCE COMPANY (01/27/75)

decided: January 27, 1975.

MARGARET MCMONAGLE, APPELLANT,
v.
ALLSTATE INSURANCE COMPANY, A CORPORATION



COUNSEL

Joseph M. Zoffer, Martino, Ferris & Zoffer, Pittsburgh, for appellant.

Robert S. Grigsby, Thomas A. Matis, Thomson, Rhodes & Grigsby, Pittsburgh, for appellee.

Howard A. Specter, Litman, Litman, Harris & Specter, P. A., Pittsburgh, for amicus curiae.

Jones, C. J., and Eagen, O'Brien, Roberts, Pomeroy, Nix and Manderino, JJ. Pomeroy and Nix, JJ., concur in the result.

Author: Roberts

[ 460 Pa. Page 161]

OPINION OF THE COURT

This action was commenced by plaintiff on behalf of herself and all others similarly situated. The trial court determined that the action could not be maintained as a class action but entered judgment for plaintiff individually. 122 Pitt.L.J. 107 (Pa.C.P.1973). Plaintiff appealed the adverse ruling on the class action. A divided Superior Court affirmed. 227 Pa. Super. 205, 324 A.2d 414 (1974). We allowed this appeal*fn1 because of the importance of the question presented.*fn2 We affirm.

[ 460 Pa. Page 162]

The complex history of this case was well summarized by the trial court:

"The plaintiff, Margaret McMonagle, . . . was the insured under a policy of insurance issued by the defendant, Allstate Insurance Company . . . . The policy of insurance provided coverage, inter alia, for automobile medical payments insurance up to $2,000.00 and uninsured motorist.

"On February 14, 1969, McMonagle was injured while a guest passenger in an uninsured automobile. She incurred medical expense as a result of the accident in the amount of $978.50.

"On December 15, 1971, by letter to Allstate, McMonagle made demand for an arbitration hearing under the uninsured motorist provisions of her policy. In the demand letter, McMonagle listed medical expenses in the amount of $1,086.05 and lost wages in the amount of $180.00. On February 3, 1972, she made a demand for arbitration to the American Arbitration Association. Allstate notified both McMonagle and the American Arbitration Association that no policy of insurance covering McMonagle was in force on . . . the date of the accident. Allstate on May 18, 1972, brought an action in equity . . . to enjoin the arbitration proceeding, alleging that ...


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