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PURSELL v. ALLSTATE INS. CO.

September 12, 1983

ROBERT PURSELL, JR.
v.
ALLSTATE INSURANCE COMPANY, et al.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: GILES

 GILES, J.

 In order to determine plaintiff's residence for No-fault benefits, the court must examine the facts and circumstances surrounding his daily life prior to the accident. Having considered all the evidence adduced at a bench trial, and the arguments and briefs of the parties, the court finds that plaintiff resided with his parents at the time of the accident. The following constitutes the court's Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law:

 1. Robert Pursell, Jr. is an individual and citizen of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

 2. Allstate Insurance Company is a corporation organized under the laws of the State of Illinois and doing business in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

 3. Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company is an Ohio Corporation doing business in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

 4. National Fire Insurance Company, part of the Continental National Company Group of Insurance Companies, is an Illinois corporation doing business in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

 5. On or about May 20, 1982, the plaintiff was a passenger in a car driven by Gerald J. Ahern, who was a named insured under a policy of insurance issued by National Fire Insurance Company, in accordance with the Pennsylvania No-Fault Motor Vehicle Insurance Act. Plaintiff suffered serious injuries in Ahern's car as a result of an accident in Sybertsville, Luzerne County, Pennsylvania. As a result, it was agreed that plaintiff was unable to testify on the subject of his residence.

 6. In late November, 1981, while residing with his parents in Bensalem, Pennsylvania, a township close to the City of Philadelphia, plaintiff went to Sybertsville, Pennsylvania to live with his paternal grandmother, Margaret Pursell, and to look for work. Sybertsville is approximately 120 miles from Bensalem.

 7. Upon moving to Sybertsville, plaintiff may have had intentions of changing his residence to his grandmother's home as is evidenced by, inter alia, a renewed driver's license reflecting the Sybertsville address. While living with his grandmother the only work he was able to find was assisting an uncle in the kitchen of a bar situated in the street level of the grandmother's property. On April 20, 1982, plaintiff obtained a steady job as a helper with Down River Forest Products.

 8. I credit the uncontradicted testimony of Margaret Pursell that ten (10) days to three (3) weeks before the accident she told plaintiff's father that he would have to find another place for plaintiff to stay because he would come in at very late and unpredictable hours of the night and that she was sick from the worry of waiting up for him. In effect, she put plaintiff out at that time and her address ceased being, if it ever was, plaintiff's residence.

 9. Plaintiff's father then arranged for plaintiff to use his trailer which was located approximately four to six miles from Sybertsville in Sugar Loaf Township. Plaintiff moved all his belongings from the grandmother's house to the trailer. The trailer could have been used for living purposes year-round as it had facilities which could be adapted to meet basic shelter and living needs.

 10. The trailer was used by the father on a regular basis for overnight accommodations when he made weekly visits to the Veteran's Administration Hospital in the Sybertsville area. He also used it during the hunting season. The trailer did not have a post office address or a telephone. However, it was located a short distance from a permanent dwelling. Those neighbors did have a telephone which was used by plaintiff to ...


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