No. 3310 Philadelphia, 1981, Appeal from Order of the Court of Common Pleas, Civil Division, of Philadelphia County, No. 1008 August Term, 1979.
Jerry L. Cohen, Philadelphia, for appellants.
David B. Glancey, Philadelphia, for appellee.
Wieand, McEwen and Montgomery, JJ.
[ 316 Pa. Super. Page 148]
The issue in this appeal is whether Section 201 of the Pennsylvania No-fault Motor Vehicle Insurance Act*fn1 is unconstitutional on due process or equal protection grounds because it limits the recovery of basic loss benefits to an insured or the driver or occupant of a secured vehicle if the accident occurs outside Pennsylvania. We hold that the statutory limitation is constitutional. Therefore, we affirm the trial court's order entering a summary judgment dismissing, with prejudice, a claim for basic loss benefits where the claimant, injured in a New Jersey automobile accident, was neither an insured nor an occupant of a secured vehicle.
Sherry Greider, a minor and a resident of Pennsylvania, was an occupant of a vehicle owned and operated by Steven Stackhouse, also a resident of Pennsylvania, when the vehicle was involved in a one-car accident in Berlin, New Jersey, on July 5, 1978. Neither Sherry Greider nor any member of her household owned an automobile or was an insured under a policy of motor vehicle insurance. The vehicle owned and operated by Stackhouse was not an insured vehicle, and Stackhouse was not insured under any other policy of insurance. Sherry filed a claim for basic loss
[ 316 Pa. Super. Page 149]
benefits with appellee, Pennsylvania Assigned Claims Plan, which denied the claim. The insurance company did so on grounds that the minor appellant was not entitled to nofault benefits because she had been injured in an out of state accident and was not an insured or the driver or occupant of a secured vehicle as required by Section 201(b) of the No-fault Act, 40 P.S. § 1009.201(b). Mrs. Ryan, Sherry's mother, who was not an occupant of the Stackhouse vehicle at the time of the accident, filed a claim for work loss benefits based upon her voluntary absence from work to care for Sherry following her release from the hospital. The Pennsylvania Assigned Claims Plan also refused Mrs. Ryan's claims on grounds that she was neither a victim nor the survivor of a deceased victim as required by Section 201 of the No-Fault Act, 40 P.S. § 1009.201. See: Samsel v. Travelers Indemnity Company, 295 Pa. Super. 188, 191, 441 A.2d 412, 414 (1982) allocatur denied May 6, 1982; Erie Insurance Exchange v. Fleagle, 285 Pa. Super. 310, 313, 427 A.2d 651, 653 (1981).*fn2
Section 201 of the No-Fault Act provides:
"Right to basic loss benefits; limitation on benefits
(a) Accident within this State. -- If the accident resulting in injury occurs in this Commonwealth, any victim or any survivor of a deceased victim is entitled to receive basic loss benefits in accordance with the provisions of this act.
(b) Accident outside this State. -- If the accident resulting in injury occurs outside of this Commonwealth, a victim or a survivor of a deceased victim is entitled to receive ...