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DORIS L. STRUNACK v. CLAIR K. ECKER AND GUIDO ROBERT ECKER (01/23/81)

filed: January 23, 1981.

DORIS L. STRUNACK, APPELLANT,
v.
CLAIR K. ECKER AND GUIDO ROBERT ECKER



No. 19 October Term, 1979, Appeal from Order in the Court of Common Pleas of Montgomery County, Civil Division, No. 77-19781.

COUNSEL

David S. Shrager, Philadelphia, for appellant.

Dean B. Stewart Jr., Norristown, for appellees.

Cercone, President Judge, and Price, Spaeth, Hester, Cavanaugh, Brosky and Wickersham, JJ. Spaeth, J., files a dissenting opinion in which Cercone, President Judge, and Brosky, J. join.

Author: Hester

[ 283 Pa. Super. Page 586]

This is an appeal from an order granting appellees' motion to strike appellant's complaint.

Appellant instituted an action in trespass to recover damages for injuries sustained as a result of a collision between the automobile she was operating and appellees' vehicle. Medical expenses in the amount of $1,162.75 were alleged.

Appellees filed a motion to strike the complaint asserting that the appellant had failed to meet the $750 medical expense threshold of the "Pennsylvania No-Fault Motor Vehicle Insurance Act", 1974 July 19, P.L. 489, No. 176 Art. I et seq., 40 P.S. § 1009.101, as amended (herein the "Act") in that $756.00 of appellant's medical expense was as a result of chiropractic services.

The motion to strike was granted and this appeal followed.

We are presented with the question as to whether § 301(a)(5)(B) of the "Act" should be construed to include chiropractic expenses.

Section 301(a)(5)(B) provides as follows:

Article III -- Tort Liability

(a) Partial abolition. -- Tort liability is abolished with respect to any injury that takes place in this State in accordance with the provisions of this act if such injury arises out of the maintenance or use of a motor vehicle, except that:

(5) A person remains liable for damages for non-economic detriment if the accident results in:

[ 283 Pa. Super. Page 587]

(B) the reasonable value of reasonable and necessary medical and dental services, including prosthetic devices and necessary ambulance, hospital and professional nursing expenses incurred in the diagnosis, care and recovery of the victim, exclusive of diagnostic x-ray costs and rehabilitation costs in excess of one hundred dollars ($100) is in excess of seven hundred fifty dollars (750). For purposes of this subclause, the reasonable value of hospital room and board shall be the amount determined by the Department of Health to be the average daily rate charged for a semi-private hospital room and board computed from such charges by all hospitals in the Commonwealth. (At 40 P.S. § 1009.301).

We have previously affirmed two lower court decisions wherein they excluded chiropractic expenses from section B (above). Miller v. Johnson, 276 Pa. Super. 638, 424 A.2d 548 (1979); Babcock v. Tippett, 260 Pa. Super. 583, 394 A.2d 607 (1978).

In determining the meaning of statutory language, our purpose is to ascertain and effectuate the intention of the Legislature. Commonwealth v. ...


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