No. 126 PITTSBURGH, 1982, Appeal from an Order in the Court of Common Pleas, Civil Division, of Allegheny County, No. GD 81-30979.
Michael B. Kaleugher, Pittsburgh, for appellant.
James J. Lestitian, Pittsburgh, for appellees.
Cercone, President Judge, and Spaeth and Hester, JJ.
[ 322 Pa. Super. Page 545]
Appellees, Edward and Victorianna Bromley, were seriously injured on October 28, 1979 when Kenneth Stewart drove his automobile across the center line and head-on into appellees' motor vehicle on Route 8 in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. Theodore Miller was operating his vehicle behind appellees' and in the same lane of traffic. He too was injured when the Stewart vehicle caused him to collide with the rear of appellees' vehicle.
Stewart insured his vehicle through Sentry Insurance Company under a single-limit, fifty thousand dollar policy. Sentry paid the maximum coverage to the injured parties by allocating $33,333.00 to appellees and $16,667.00 to Miller.
Appellees were not fully compensated for their injuries through Stewart's insurance carrier; consequently, they sought additional compensation from their carrier, Erie Insurance Group, appellant herein. According to appellees, the uninsured motorist clause in their contract of insurance with appellant covered their loss. Appellant denied coverage and the matter was submitted to arbitration.
The majority arbitrators found that appellees' injuries were compensable to the full extent of the $60,000.00 of uninsured motorist coverage provided by appellant; however,
[ 322 Pa. Super. Page 546]
said coverage was reduced by the amount of insurance payable by Stewart's carrier. As a result, appellees were awarded $26,667.00, a sum representing the difference between appellees' uninsured motorist coverage and the amount paid by the tortfeasor's carrier. Thereafter, appellant filed an application to vacate the arbitration award with the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County. The lower court denied the application and adopted the majority opinion of the arbitrators in an Order of Court dated January 27, 1982. Appellant filed this appeal from that Order.
Frequently in an appeal from an order affirming or vacating arbitration awards, one party raises the issue of whether the lower court had jurisdiction over the application to vacate. Appellees raise that issue here; therefore, prior to any discussion on the merits, we must determine whether this matter is properly before this Court.
Within the uninsured motorist provisions of their contract for motor vehicle insurance; the parties agreed to submit to arbitration any disagreement over the amount of damages or the right to recover damages.*fn1 It is well-settled that issues arising from uninsured motorist provisions containing an arbitration clause shall be subjected to the exclusive jurisdiction of the arbitrators. Allstate Ins. Co. v. McMonagle, 449 Pa. 362, 296 A.2d 738 (1972); ...