policy was issued by the defendant, Lumbermens Mutual Casualty Company ("Lumbermens"). Presently before the Court is defendant's motion for summary judgment. For the reasons which follow, defendant's motion will be granted and judgment will be entered in favor of defendant.
On February 4, 1979, Lumbermens agreed to insure the decedent, Virginia Lynn Wible, pursuant to the Group Travel Accident Insurance Policy. The insurance was provided to Ms. Wible as an employment benefit by the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority ("SEPTA"). The policy specifically provided SEPTA employees with coverage for injuries, sustained during the course of employment, which directly resulted from unprovoked criminal assaults and batteries, either on or off the premises of SEPTA. At approximately 9:05 P.M. on February 22, 1979, while operating a SEPTA trolley, Ms. Wible was attacked by three unknown assailants. Posing as passengers, one of the assailants drew a knife and stabbed her in the neck. Ms. Wible underwent surgery that evening and was hospitalized until her release on March 2, 1979. She never returned to work as a SEPTA trolley operator. On September 7, 1979, Ms. Wible committed suicide by ingesting an overdose of prescription drugs phenobarbital, diazepam and dismethyldiazepam. The fact of the suicide is undisputed by both parties in this case. Plaintiff, as Administratrix of Ms. Wible's Estate, now seeks to recover the sum of $ 60,000.00 provided for by the insurance policy as payment for losses resulting from death.
A motion for summary judgment pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 56 may be granted only "if there are no remaining issues of material fact which, if believed by the trier of fact, would justify a finding for the party opposing that judgment." Wahl v. Rexnord, Inc., 624 F.2d 1169, 1181 (3d Cir. 1980). Lumbermens does not dispute the fact that Ms. Wible was attacked during the course of her employment as a SEPTA employee in February, 1979. Nor is it disputed by either party that Ms. Wible committed suicide through an overdose of drugs approximately six months afterward, in September, 1979. The issue presently before the Court is a matter of contract interpretation. The issue succinctly stated is whether the death of Ms. Wible, as a matter of law, is covered by the insurance policy.
Under the insurance policy, Lumbermens agreed to insure the members and employees of SEPTA "against specified losses ..., which losses resulted directly and independently of all other causes from hazards as defined in the attached Hazard Description Page(s)." (Emphasis added). The "Special Hazard Description Page for Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority" provides: "Coverage shall be limited to unprovoked felonious assault and battery and all criminal acts, including those injuries sustained directly as a result of any kidnapping or felonious assault as a result of holdups, robbery or burglary on or off the Premises of the Policyholder." Furthermore, under the "Accidental Death Coverage," the policy provides: "When as a result of bodily injury caused solely by accident, the Insured Person suffers loss of life, the Company will pay the Principal Sum stated in the Declarations applicable to the Insured Person." (Emphasis added).
However, dispositive of this case is Part VI of the policy, entitled "General Exclusions," which specifically provides:
This Policy does not cover losses, fatal or non-fatal, caused by or resulting from: