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CLAIRE MATZA v. ALLSTATE INSURANCE COMPANY (04/04/85)

filed: April 4, 1985.

CLAIRE MATZA, ADMINISTRATRIX OF THE ESTATE OF CARMEN MATZA, DECEASED, APPELLEE,
v.
ALLSTATE INSURANCE COMPANY, APPELLANT



No. 2159 Philadelphia, 1983, Appeal from the Order entered in the Court of Common Pleas, Trial Division, Civil Section, of Philadelphia County, July Term, 1982, No. 2221.

COUNSEL

John C. McNamara, Philadelphia, for appellant.

Dennis Veneziale, Philadelphia, for appellee.

Rowley, McEwen and Hoffman, JJ.

Author: Rowley

[ 341 Pa. Super. Page 168]

OPINION OF THE COURT

Allstate Insurance Company (Allstate) appeals from the trial court's order granting appellee's motion for summary judgment and awarding her work loss benefits under the Pennsylvania No-Fault Motor Vehicle Insurance Act (No-Fault Act), 40 P.S. ยงยง 1009.101-1009.701. We affirm.

Carmen Matza died in an automobile accident on July 21, 1981. The automobile, driven by decedent, was insured under a policy issued by Allstate. At the time of his death, Mr. Matza had been retired for three years. He and his

[ 341 Pa. Super. Page 169]

    wife, Claire Matza, appellee, had been receiving $663.00 per month in social security benefits, and $449.49 per month from decedent's employer's non-contributory pension plan. Both parties agree that Mr. Matza's death resulted in a reduction in monthly benefits totaling $489.37. It was further agreed that decedent's actuarial life expectancy was at least 31 months.

Appellee filed an action for declaratory judgment and in assumpsit, as administratrix of her husband's estate and in her own right as decedent's widow, seeking to recover work loss benefits under the No-Fault Act. The trial court granted appellee's subsequent motion for summary judgment, holding that the diminution of pension and social security payments to the estate of a retired decedent is properly compensable under the No-Fault Act as work loss.*fn1 We agree.

It is now well-settled that survivors of an individual who is fatally injured in an automobile accident are entitled to work loss benefits under the No-Fault Act. Allstate Insurance Company v. Heffner, 491 Pa. 447, 421 A.2d 629 (1980). In addition, the victim's estate is entitled to recover work loss benefits, and lack of a work history does not bar such recovery. Freeze v. Donegal Mutual Insurance Company, 504 Pa. 218, 470 A.2d 958 (1983) (estate of deceased eleven-year old minor entitled to recover work loss, even though decedent had not entered work force). In Minier v. State Farm Insurance Company, 309 Pa. Super. 53, 454 A.2d 1078 (1982), this Court determined that the fact that a decedent had retired from employment at the time of the accident did not bar recovery of work loss benefits by his ...


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