No. 00476 Pittsburgh, 1983, Appeal from the Order entered March 17, 1983 in the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, Civil Division, No. GD 81-11473
Frank M. Gianola, Pittsburgh, for appellant.
Paul L. Hammer, Pittsburgh, for appellee.
Tamilia, Johnson and Montgomery, JJ.
[ 336 Pa. Super. Page 197]
The sole question in this case is whether appellant is entitled to benefits under the Pennsylvania No-fault Motor Vehicle Insurance Act*fn1 for the shotgun slaying of her husband, a motor vehicle occupant, who was killed outside his vehicle while fleeing from a third party. The trial court held that there could be no recovery and entered summary judgment in favor of State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company, the No-fault insurance carrier. We affirm.
The facts are not in dispute. On August 12, 1980, Richard Stoyko shot and killed Shelby Jean Storm, the woman with whom Stoyko lived, following a heated argument the
[ 336 Pa. Super. Page 198]
previous day. After the shooting, Stoyko drove to an isolated dirt road in the vicinity of Gates Hollow, Pennsylvania and fell asleep in his car. When he awoke, he noticed that Joseph Glad's pickup truck, which was parked directly behind his car, had blocked him in. Stoyko then told Mr. Glad to move his truck, but he refused. Mr. Glad then got out of his truck and was immediately shot and killed. Stoyko then put the shotgun and some alcoholic beverages from his car in the deceased's truck and drove it from that time until he turned himself in to the police the following day.
Appellant, Jennie Glad, filed an action in assumpsit against appellee, State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company (hereinafter "State Farm"), to recover No-fault insurance benefits pursuant to contracts of automobile insurance issued by State Farm to herself and to her deceased husband. The insurance policies issued by State Farm contain the following relevant clause:
We will pay in accordance with the No-fault Act for bodily injury to an insured, caused by accident resulting from the maintenance or use of a motor vehicle as a vehicle: . . . (Emphasis in original)
Nowhere in the policies are the terms "accident", "maintenance", or "use" defined.
Appellant's complaint avers that her husband's death resulted from the "use, ownership, operation and maintenance" of his insured vehicle. On March 30, 1982, State Farm filed a motion for summary judgment on the basis that Mr. Glad's death did not arise out of the "maintenance or use of a motor vehicle" and that Mr. Glad was not a "victim". In accordance with Rule 1035(b) of the Pennsylvania Rules of Civil Procedure, appellant filed an opposing affidavit and the parties supplied the Court en banc with a partial transcript of the murder ...