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DOROTHY H. HARTLEB v. OHIO CASUALTY INSURANCE COMPANY (10/01/82)

filed: October 1, 1982.

DOROTHY H. HARTLEB, ADMINISTRATRIX OF THE ESTATE OF PHILIP HARTLEB, DECEASED,
v.
THE OHIO CASUALTY INSURANCE COMPANY, APPELLANT. BETSY L. WHITE, ADMINISTRATRIX OF THE ESTATE OF HAROLD MAYOROS, DECEASED, JOHN MAYOROS AND NORMA MAYOROS, HIS WIFE, V. THE OHIO CASUALTY GROUP OF INSURANCE COMPANIES, APPELLANT. DOROTHY H. HARTLEB, ADMINISTRATRIX OF THE ESTATE OF PHILIP HARTLEB, DECEASED, APPELLANT, V. OHIO CASUALTY INSURANCE COMPANY



No. 525 Pittsburgh, 1981, No. 526 Pittsburgh, 1981, No. 552 Pittsburgh, 1981, Appeal from the Orders of the Court of Common Pleas, Civil Division, of Erie County at Nos. 3495-A-1979 and 8919-A-1980.

COUNSEL

William J. Schaaf, Erie, for Ohio Casualty, appellant in Nos. 525 and 526 and appellee in No. 552.

John Quinn, Erie, for Hartleb, appellant in No. 552 and appellee in Nos. 525 and 526.

William T. Jorden, Meadville, for White, appellees in No. 526.

Brosky, Cirillo and Popovich, JJ.

Author: Popovich

[ 305 Pa. Super. Page 233]

This is a consolidated appeal which involves the question of whether proof of dependency is a prerequisite to recovery of work loss or survivors' benefits under the No-Fault Motor Vehicle Insurance Act. Act of July 19, 1974, P.L. 489, No. 176, 40 P.S. §§ 1009.101 et seq. (Supp.1980-81). The trial court granted summary judgment in favor of both plaintiffs-appellees on the work loss issue and in favor of the defendant-appellant on the survivors' benefits issue. We affirm in part and reverse in part.

The facts in the instant case were set forth by the trial court in the following manner:

The two cases were filed against appellant, the Ohio Casualty Insurance Company. In Hartleb, the plaintiff's decedent died as a result of injuries sustained in an auto accident. At the time of his death, the decedent was twenty-seven years of age and single. Decedent is survived by his mother, the administratrix of the estate, and four sisters. It is conceded that neither his mother nor his sisters were dependent upon the decedent for support.

In White, the plaintiff's decedent also died as a result of an automobile accident. The decedent's parents are handicapped and decedent contributed $60.00 per month towards their support but it was stipulated that they were not dependent upon the decedent.

In both cases, the plaintiffs initially requested payment of survivors' benefits and work loss benefits pursuant to the insurance policies written by the defendant company and in effect at the time of the decedents' deaths. However, the plaintiff in White has since withdrawn her demand for survivors' benefits and now challenges only the defendant's refusal to pay work loss benefits. Defendant has refused payment on the grounds that work loss benefits are payable only to dependent survivors of the deceased and, in each instance, it has been stipulated that the decedents' survivors were not dependents. The trial court granted the work loss benefits but denied the survivors' loss benefits. Final judgments

[ 305 Pa. Super. Page 234]

    were entered in the amount of $15,000.00 plus interest at 18% as work loss benefits in each case, and judgment was entered in appellant's favor on the survivors' ...


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