Appeal of UNITED STATES FIDELITY AND GUARANTY COMPANY.
Robert J. Stewart, York, for appellant.
Lewis H. Markowitz, York, for Dollie M. Light, appellee.
Wickersham, Wieand and Montemuro, JJ.
[ 303 Pa. Super. Page 528]
This appeal is taken from a declaratory judgment entered in favor of one appellee in this matter, who will be designated "petitioner" herein. Petitioner is the widow of a deceased who was killed in a motor vehicle accident in which a second woman, also an appellee and termed "appellee" herein, was the driver and the alleged tortfeasor.
The issues to be determined concern the availability of protection under the terms of an insurance policy issued by the appellant insurance company to the appellee and her husband. Specifically the policy contracts to provide a defense for appellee-tortfeasor and to pay any award returned against her according to its terms. However, when appellee applied for these benefits, appellant refused to provide either the defense or any coverage under the policy terms.
Petitioner then petitioned the lower court for a declaratory judgment as to the interpretation of the written contract between the appellant and the appellee, citing the Declaratory Judgment Act, 42 Pa. C.S.A. § 7531 et seq, which permits "any person interested under a written contract" to receive a determination of any question of construction arising under that instrument. The court agreed to make that determination.
A Statement of Fact (R. Document # 6) was submitted to the court and executed by all three parties, and the opinion of the trial court was based upon the stipulations as interpreted under policy language and law. The lower court found that appellee was entitled to a defense and to payment
[ 303 Pa. Super. Page 529]
of any award returned against her consistent with the policy terms. We affirm the decisions of the court below.
The undisputed facts of the case as submitted by the parties are as follows. Appellee was covered by an insurance policy issued to her husband by appellant. Appellee was employed as a driver of a 1977 Chevrolet Sport Van to transport school-children. This vehicle was not furnished for personal use of appellee or her family, although she was permitted to park the vehicle at her home when she was not transporting the children.
On the morning of September 7, 1977, appellee left her home to begin transporting her charges. Before she picked up her first passenger, she had an automobile accident that ...