NO. 500 PHILA. 1982, Appeal from the Order in the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County, Civil No. 983 June Term 1981
James L. Womer, Philadelphia, for appellant.
Mark Charles Schultz, Norristown, for appellee.
Spaeth, President Judge, and Montemuro and Popovich, JJ.
[ 324 Pa. Super. Page 331]
This is an appeal from an order granting appellee's motion for summary judgment. Appellant argues that the trial court erred in that there remained issues of material fact. We find this argument without merit and therefore affirm.
On May 19, 1981, appellant was involved in an automobile accident, and on June 4, 1981, he filed a complaint in assumpsit and trespass. In Count I of the complaint (assumpsit)
[ 324 Pa. Super. Page 332]
appellant alleged that he held a policy of insurance with appellee, that he had requested that appellee make payment to him for the property damage sustained in the accident, and that appellee had refused to negotiate the claim or make payment on it. Appellant demanded damages of $15,000, together with "penalties, attorney's fees, interest and costs." In Count II (trespass) appellant demanded punitive damages, alleging that appellee's denial of payment was intentional and designed to harass appellant.
Appellee filed a motion for summary judgment, alleging that on or about June 11, 1981, i.e., less than 30 days after the accident, it had issued a draft in the amount of $1,930.90 to appellant in full satisfaction of appellant's claim. Appellee also claimed that punitive damages are not recoverable under Pennsylvania law in an action against an insurer for failure to honor a claim. Appellant admitted receiving payment from appellee but denied that it evidenced full payment, alleging that there were still outstanding attorney's fees, interest, costs, transportation expenses and other damages. Appellant also claimed that punitive damages are recoverable under Pennsylvania law in a case of this type.
Appellant apparently does not challenge on appeal the grant of summary judgment on Count II of his complaint. In any event, we note that under Smith v. Harleysville Insurance Company, 494 Pa. 515, 518, 431 A.2d 974, 975 (1981), and D'Ambrosio v. Pennsylvania National Mutual Casualty Insurance Company, 494 Pa. 501, 431 A.2d 966 (1981), summary judgment was properly granted on Count II.
With respect to Count I of the complaint, appellant argues that appellee's payment to appellant for property damage did not satisfy the claims for transportation expense, attorney's fees, interest and costs. The trial court characterized these ...