No. 274 Philadelphia, 1981, Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County, Trial Division, Equity, at No. 392, March Term, 1980.
Susan K. Eisenberg, Philadelphia, for appellant.
Norman Hegge, Jr., Philadelphia, for appellee.
Cercone, President Judge, and McEwen and Hoffman, JJ.
Appellant contends that appellee, a self-insured, was required to provide uninsured motorist protection to its passengers, and thus, the lower court erred in sustaining appellee's preliminary objections and dismissing appellant's complaint for failing to state a cause of action. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the order of the lower court.
The standards for sustaining preliminary objections in the nature of a demurrer are quite strict. A demurrer admits every well-pleaded material fact set forth in the pleadings to which it is addressed as well as all inferences reasonably deductible therefrom, but not conclusions of law. In order to sustain the demurrer, it is essential that the plaintiff's complaint indicate on its face that his claim cannot be sustained, and the law will not permit a recovery. If there is any doubt, this should be resolved in favor of overruling the demurrer.
Gekas v. Shapp, 469 Pa. 1, 5-6, 364 A.2d 691, 693 (1976) (citations omitted). Appellant's complaint alleged that on March 2, 1978, she was severely injured when a motorist negligently crashed into the rear of appellee's bus, on which she was riding. Appellant alleged no negligence on the part
of appellee or any of its employees. Appellee is "self-insured" pursuant to the No-fault Motor Vehicle Insurance Act*fn1 and the motorist was "uninsured" under the Uninsured Motorist Act.*fn2 Appellant alleged that appellee was required to provide uninsured motorist protection to its passengers and demanded arbitration. Appellee refused to arbitrate and filed preliminary objections asserting, inter alia, that appellant had failed to state a cause of action. The lower court, relying upon Johnson v. Yellow Cab Co., 456 Pa. 256, 317 A.2d 245 (1974) (self-insureds need not provide uninsured motorist protection), sustained appellee's preliminary objections and dismissed the complaint. This appeal followed.
The Uninsured Motorist Act requires that uninsured motorist protection be provided in every "motor vehicle liability policy of insurance . . . delivered or issued for delivery in this State." 40 P.S. § 2000(a). It also provides that motor carriers such as appellee "shall have the right to reject such coverage in writing." 40 P.S. § 2000(a)(2). These provisions were interpreted in Johnson to "appl[y] only when a liability policy of insurance is delivered or issued for delivery. If no liability policy exists, [the Uninsured Motorist] Act, does not apply. One who is a self-insured does not have a liability policy of insurance." 456 Pa. at 259, 317 A.2d at 247. Thus, the Uninsured Motorist Act does not apply to self-insureds. Id.; Mitchell v. Philadelphia Electric Co., 281 Pa. Superior Ct. 452, 422 A.2d 556 (1980). Further, the Court dismissed the contention that a self-insured is ...