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JOSEPH J. NAVARRO v. OHIO CASUALTY INSURANCE COMPANY AND GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES INSURANCE COMPANY. APPEAL GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES INSURANCE COMPANY (03/02/84)

filed: March 2, 1984.

JOSEPH J. NAVARRO
v.
OHIO CASUALTY INSURANCE COMPANY AND THE GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES INSURANCE COMPANY. APPEAL OF THE GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES INSURANCE COMPANY



No. 5 Harrisburg 1983, Appeal from the Order entered December 9, 1982, Court of Common Pleas, Dauphin County, Civil at No. 598 S 1979.

COUNSEL

Richard L. Kearns, Harrisburg, for appellant.

Timothy John O'Connell and F. Shipman, Harrisburg, for appellees.

McEwen, Johnson and Popovich, JJ.

Author: Johnson

[ 325 Pa. Super. Page 169]

Appellant Government Employees Insurance Company (GEICO) brings this appeal from the order of December 9, 1982 requiring GEICO to pay appellee/plaintiff Joseph J. Navarro $15,000 plus 18% interest in work loss benefits pursuant to the Pennsylvania No-fault Motor Vehicle Insurance Act.*fn1

Joseph J. Navarro was injured in a collision which occurred on October 22, 1977 while a passenger in a vehicle driven and owned by Jose Ramirez. On that date, Ramirez had in full force and effect an automobile insurance policy with GEICO. Also in effect on that date was a corporate fleet automobile insurance policy between Joseph J. Navarro, Inc. (a corporation wholly owned by plaintiff Joseph J. Navarro and his wife) and Ohio Casualty Insurance Company (Ohio Casualty). One of the vehicles listed as covered in this fleet policy was registered to Navarro individually and another registered to Navarro and his wife individually.

Plaintiff Navarro instituted suit against each insurance company separately after each refused his demands for work loss benefits. Following consolidation of the actions and a motion by plaintiff for partial summary judgment, the trial court entered an order on July 1, 1980 granting partial summary judgment as to liability against GEICO and denying the same as against Ohio Casualty. GEICO's appeal from that order was quashed by this court as interlocutory. Navarro v. Ohio Casualty Insurance Company, 295 Pa. Super. 151, 441 A.2d 394 (1982). On December 9, 1982, following a hearing, the trial court ordered GEICO to pay work loss benefits to plaintiff.

The issue presented is whether the owner of a vehicle who obtains automobile insurance in the name of his solelyowned

[ 325 Pa. Super. Page 170]

    corporation instead of in his own name, is an "insured" under the No-fault Act.

GEICO initially argues that the insurance contract between Navarro and Ohio Casualty should be reformed to show the name of the insured as Navarro individually where a mutual mistake of facts exists as to the correct insured.

GEICO argues that through some breakdown in communication, Navarro and the Ohio Casualty agent failed to realize that some of the vehicles were individually owned and as such, not properly covered by the fleet policy. GEICO would have this court reform the contract so that it covers the vehicles owned by ...


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