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KORPA v. STUYVESANT LIFE INSURANCE COMPANY (10/28/75)

decided: October 28, 1975.

KORPA, APPELLANT,
v.
STUYVESANT LIFE INSURANCE COMPANY, APPELLANT



Appeals from order of Court of Common Pleas, Civil Division, of Allegheny County, July T., 1970, No. 3050, in cases of Mildred Korpa v. Stuyvesant Life Insurance Company and Same v. Same.

COUNSEL

Samuel J. Goldstein, for appellant at No. 271, and appellee at No. 277.

Arthur R. Gorr, with him Stein & Winters, for appellant at No. 277, and appellee at No. 271.

Watkins, P. J., Jacobs, Hoffman, Cercone, Price, Van der Voort, and Spaeth, JJ. Opinion by Watkins, P.j. Concurring Opinion by Spaeth, J.

Author: Watkins

[ 236 Pa. Super. Page 583]

These are appeals from the entry of compulsory nonsuits by the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, Civil Division, against the plaintiff-appellant, Mildred Korpa, in an assumpsit action and against the defendant-appellant, Stuyvesant Life Insurance Company, on its counterclaim; and from the action of the court en banc in refusing to remove the nonsuits.

Korpa was employed in 1966 by Siltronics, Inc. as a machine operator. On November 16, 1966, she injured her neck and shoulder while operating a press. Due to this injury she was unable to work and received disability benefits from Travelers Insurance Company under a group policy provided by her employer. Upon the advice of doctors, plaintiff returned to her place of employment and attempted to work in March, 1967. Although she drew pay, she was unable to perform even the lightest jobs. After several months of attempting to work, during which period she missed considerable working

[ 236 Pa. Super. Page 584]

    time because of pain resulting from her injuries, she finally gave up attempting to work completely in December, 1967.

In February, 1967, the Travelers group policy expired and was not renewed by Siltronics. However, Travelers continued to pay disability benefits to plaintiff until March, 1967, when she returned to work. Siltronics contracted with Stuyvesant for the group disability policy. This contract became effective on March 1, 1967.

In January, 1968 plaintiff presented a claim to Stuyvesant for disability benefits resulting from injury. She gave the date of her injury as January 2, 1968. As a result of this claim Stuyvesant paid disability benefits to Korpa until March 25, 1970. On this date, disability payments were terminated because a physician who examined the plaintiff reported that she was not disabled. Plaintiff then brought suit against both Travelers and Stuyvesant. The suit against Travelers was settled prior to trial leaving Stuyvesant as the sole defendant. Stuyvesant claimed that since the injury which resulted in disability occurred on November 16, 1966, prior to the date that its policy came into force, that it was not liable to plaintiff for anything. Stuyvesant also counterclaimed for the sum of $5,226.42 which amount represents the total disability payments paid by it to plaintiff from January, 1968 to March 25, 1970.

Plaintiff alleges that the trial court erred in not permitting the case to go to the jury. She also claims that the trial court's permitting a reference to the settlement with Travelers to be made within the hearing of the jury and permitting a reading into the record of several exchanges of correspondence between the plaintiff's counsel and a doctor constituted reversible error. Since the case never went to the jury due to the court's rulings on the non-suit we need not discuss the latter allegations.

When deciding the correctness of the granting of a compulsory non-suit, the evidence and ...


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