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MARIO LUDMER v. ERIE INSURANCE EXCHANGE (02/19/82)

filed: February 19, 1982.

MARIO LUDMER, APPELLANT,
v.
ERIE INSURANCE EXCHANGE



NO. 898 PITTSBURGH, 1980, Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas, Civil Action Law, of Allegheny County, at No. 6219 of 1979

COUNSEL

John F. Becker, Pittsburgh, for appellant.

H. N. Rosenberg, Pittsburgh, for appellee.

Price, Brosky and Montemuro, JJ.

Author: Montemuro

[ 295 Pa. Super. Page 405]

This case presents the problem of whether a doctor who has allegedly rendered medical services to an insured victim of a motor vehicle accident has the right to sue an insurance company directly as third party beneficiary of the contract between the company and its insured.

We affirm the court below in its decision that neither the No-Fault Motor Vehicle Insurance Act nor the insurance contract itself mandates this result.

This is not to say that payment of a claim cannot be made directly to the doctor. Section 1009.106(a)(2) states in pertinent part:

[ 295 Pa. Super. Page 406]

Section 1009.106(d)(2) contemplates that assignment of claims for benefits for cost of medical services as well as products and accommodations shall be lawful. Section 1009.111(a)(3) further states that a provider of services is not precluded from contracting "or otherwise providing for a right of reimbursement" for the benefits he renders in the "allowable expense" category.

It appears, however, that the plaintiff-appellant doctor in the instant action has simply insisted upon payment by the insurer while also insisting that the cooperation of the insured, the alleged recipient of services, is unnecessary. He sees no need for the covered party to agree that services indeed were rendered, or that services were satisfactory, or that the payment to the service provider would indeed discharge the duties of the insurer from further payment. Appellant claims third party beneficiary status under the contract as read in conjunction with the No-Fault Act. We disagree.

Pennsylvania Rule of Civil Procedure 2002 provides that "all actions shall be prosecuted by and in the name of the real party in interest." (Emphasis supplied.) Standard Pennsylvania Practice, Vol. 3 at p. 103 defines "real party in interest" as follows:

A third party may recover on a contract only if the intent of the contract is to confer benefits upon that third party. ...


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