No. 36 Philadelphia, 1983, Appeal from Order of the Court of Common Pleas, Civil Division, of Philadelphia County, No. 1720 July Term, 1980.
James L. Womer, Philadelphia, for appellant.
Alan G. Rosenbloom, Philadelphia, for appellee.
Wieand, Olszewski and Popovich, JJ.
[ 342 Pa. Super. Page 406]
After Joanne McManus, the plaintiff, had consistently refused to comply with court orders directing her to produce for examination the policy of insurance covering the
[ 342 Pa. Super. Page 407]
vehicle which she was driving at the time of her accident, the trial court granted a defense motion to hold her in contempt, directed her to pay the costs of the motion for contempt, as well as prior assessments of costs, and stated that if the costs were not paid within twenty-one days, the action would be dismissed with prejudice. Before the twenty-one day period had expired, McManus appealed. We quash the appeal. There is no final order. The underlying action has not been dismissed, appellant has not been punished for contempt, the costs have not been paid, both parties are still in court, and the pending action must be litigated further.
Joanne McManus was injured in a two car collision on April 17, 1977. She commenced an action against the other driver which was settled for $15,000.00 on or about February 17, 1981. She then made a claim against her insurance carrier, Fireman's Insurance Company of Newark, New Jersey, to recover underinsured motorist benefits. A declaratory judgment was entered in favor of her insurance company on August 18, 1982. She also presented a claim to the present defendant and appellee, Chubb Group of Insurance Companies, which had issued a policy of insurance on a vehicle owned by plaintiff's father. The claim apparently was for underinsured motorist benefits. Chubb appointed an arbitrator to hear the dispute but objected to and refused to accept plaintiff's arbitrator because he shared offices with plaintiff's counsel and allegedly had a prior or ongoing relationship with such counsel. Plaintiff then commenced an action in assumpsit against Chubb.
Chubb filed, inter alia, a request for production of a copy of the Fireman's policy of insurance which had been in effect on plaintiff's vehicle at the time of the accident. Chubb also filed interrogatories and requests for admissions. Plaintiff did not respond. Therefore, Chubb filed a motion to compel discovery. On November 6, 1981, plaintiff-appellant was directed to file answers to Chubb's interrogatories and also to Chubb's requests for admissions within twenty days. Plaintiff refused to comply. There
[ 342 Pa. Super. Page 408]
followed a series of motions and orders pertaining to Chubb's requested discovery. Plaintiff and her attorney continued their refusal to comply. On two occasions, motions for sanctions in the nature of a judgment of non pros were denied, but plaintiff was directed to pay $150.00 to Chubb as the costs of presenting the motions. Finally, after plaintiff's continuous, adamant refusals to comply with the court's orders, the following order was entered:
AND NOW, this 15th day of December, 1982, it is hereby ORDERED AND DECREED that plaintiff's uncontested motion for contempt is granted; costs in favor of defendant and against plaintiff are imposed in the sum of $150.00 for filing this motion. It is further ORDERED and DECREED that the foregoing assessment of costs and all other outstanding assessments are to be paid within twenty one (21) days from the date hereof. Unless an affidavit is submitted to the court within twenty one (21) days from the date ...