No. 00623 Philadelphia 1983, Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas, Civil Division, of Monroe County at No. 1822 of 1980.
George W. Westervelt, Jr., Stroudsburg, for appellants.
Phillip H. Williams, Stroudsburg, for appellee.
Wieand, Olszewski and Popovich, JJ.
[ 334 Pa. Super. Page 165]
This is an appeal by appellants, Joyce Klopp, Administratrix of the Estate of Joseph Davis, Joyce Klopp, individually, and Irene Davis, from a summary judgment entered in the Monroe County Court of Common Pleas in favor of appellee, Allstate Insurance Company, (hereafter referred to as "Allstate").
The record shows that Allstate issued to Joseph Davis an automobile insurance policy providing no-fault coverage pursuant to the Pennsylvania No-Fault Motor Vehicle Insurance Act, (hereafter referred to as "No-Fault Act"), the Act of July 19, 1974, P.L. 489, No. 176, Act. I, § 101, 40 P.S. § 1009.101, et. seq. (Plaintiffs' Interrogatories, Par. 3). This policy was in full force and effect on July 6, 1979, when Joseph Davis was killed in a head-on crash with another vehicle. (Plaintiffs' Interrogatories, Par. 4).
At the time of his death, Mr. Davis was sixty-one years old. (Defendant's First Interrogatories, Par. 1). Mr. Davis had been employed at Tobyhanna Army Depot, but, for ten years prior to his death, he had been receiving black lung disability benefits. (Defendant's First Interrogatories, Par. 2, 15).
The sole issue presented on appeal is whether the estate of a deceased victim is entitled to work loss benefits when the deceased victim was disabled and receiving disability payments.
The lower court ruled that the victim was not a wage earner at the time of his death. Thus, the estate had not incurred work loss. The court also ruled that Joseph Davis lacked reasonable expectancy of receiving wages from unemployment since, by reason of his total disability, he was removed from the labor market. Therefore, the estate incurred no loss of potential income as a result of his death. (Opinion, 3). We disagree.
First, at this stage, there is no dispute that the estate of the deceased victim is the proper party to recover work
[ 334 Pa. Super. Page 166]
loss benefits. Freeze v. Donegal Mutual Insurance Company, 301 Pa. Super. 344, ...