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THOMAS MARCHESE v. AETNA CASUALTY AND SURETY COMPANY (01/23/81)

filed: January 23, 1981.

THOMAS MARCHESE
v.
AETNA CASUALTY AND SURETY COMPANY, APPELLANT



No. 2543 October Term, 1979, Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, Dated November 29, 1979, at No. 4266 August Term, 1979. Trial Division, Law.

COUNSEL

Robert A. Rosin, Philadelphia, for appellant.

Donald E. Matusow, Philadelphia, for appellee.

Brosky, Watkins and Montgomery, JJ. Watkins, J., concurred in the result.

Author: Montgomery

[ 284 Pa. Super. Page 581]

This is an appeal from an order of the Common Pleas Court of Philadelphia County, (Sabo, J.) which affirmed the award of an arbitrator for $250,000.00 in favor of the plaintiff-appellee based on a "garage" policy of insurance which had been issued by appellant, Aetna Casualty and Surety Company (hereinafter, Aetna) to Wrona Pontiac-Cadillac, Inc. The policy covered twenty "dealers plates" owned by Wrona, one of which was designated in the policy for the use of appellee, Thomas Marchese. Twenty premiums for uninsured motorist coverages were paid by Wrona and none by Marchese. The policy contained the provision covering damages for bodily injuries sustained through the negligence of an uninsured motorist as required by the Uninsured Motorist Act,*fn1 with a limit of $15,000.00 applicable to each person who might sustain damages because of bodily injury as a result of one accident.

The award to plaintiff was based on the belief of the arbitrator that plaintiff had a right to recover an amount determinable by cumulating the limits of liability under the uninsured motorist provision as it applied to each of the twenty plates covered by the policy, or within a maximum amount of $300,000.00. The award was less than that amount and therefore within the limits of Aetna's liability exposure under the policy, considered as just stated.

The accident in which Marchese sustained injuries for which he is now claiming damages occurred when he was

[ 284 Pa. Super. Page 582]

    driving a vehicle owned by Wrona with dealer plates assigned to him by Wrona.*fn2 It was struck by a stolen automobile operated by an uninsured motorist.

The issue before us is whether "stacking" or the cumulation of coverages under the Uninsured Motorists' Provision of the policy is permitted, as was done by the arbitrator.

The provision of the policy before us on which Aetna relies in support of its argument against "stacking" states:

"III Limits of Liability -- Regardless of the number of insureds under this policy, the company's ...


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