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FRANK ROZNOWSKI v. PENNSYLVANIA NATIONAL MUTUAL CASUALTY INSURANCE COMPANY (05/31/85)

filed: May 31, 1985.

FRANK ROZNOWSKI, ADMINISTRATOR OF THE ESTATE OF DARREN ROZNOWSKI, DECEASED AND FRANK ROZNOWSKI AND MARIAN ROZNOWSKI, APPELLANTS,
v.
PENNSYLVANIA NATIONAL MUTUAL CASUALTY INSURANCE COMPANY, A CORPORATION, APPELLEE



Appeal from Order of the Court of Common Pleas, Civil Division, of Allegheny County, No. G.D. 82-23710.

COUNSEL

James C. Kuhn, III, Pittsburgh, for appellants.

John C. Carlin, Jr., Pittsburgh, for appellee.

Brosky, Wieand and Lederer,*fn* JJ.

Author: Wieand

[ 343 Pa. Super. Page 9]

Darren Roznowski was struck by a motor vehicle on December 22, 1976 and received injuries from which he died shortly thereafter. Pennsylvania National Mutual Casualty

[ 343 Pa. Super. Page 10]

Insurance Co., which had issued a policy of motor vehicle insurance providing coverage for two automobiles owned by Frank and Marian Roznowski, the parents of Darren, paid medical and funeral expenses on February 18, 1977. On December 20, 1982, almost six years later, the surviving parents commenced an action to recover work loss benefits in the amount of $30,000 and survivor's benefits in the amount of $10,000 on account of their son's death. They also sought an additional $1,500 for medical and funeral expenses. The insurer filed an answer in which it alleged (1) that the policy did not permit stacking of coverages provided for the two vehicles insured, and (2) via new matter, that the action was barred by the statute of limitations contained in the Pennsylvania No-fault Motor Vehicle Insurance Act*fn1 at Section 106, 40 P.S. ยง 1009.106. After the insurer had filed a motion for judgment on the pleadings, the Roznowskis filed a reply to new matter, generally denying the insurer's averments that the statute of limitations barred their action and that stacking of coverages was prohibited. Following argument the trial court entered judgment on the pleadings in favor of the insurance company. The parents appealed.

We may affirm the judgment if it was proper for any reason. See: Koziatek v. Marquett, 335 Pa. Super. 482, 487 n. 2, 484 A.2d 806, 808 n. 2 (1984). The trial court correctly concluded that no-fault benefits could not be stacked. See: Antanovich v. Allstate Insurance Co., 507 Pa. 68, 488 A.2d 571 (1985). This alone, however, was insufficient to bar the present action. The pleadings in this case disclose that the parents have received neither work loss benefits nor survivor's benefits. Their right to recover these benefits is not wholly defeated by the policy provisions which prevent stacking; these policy provisions serve only to limit the amount of benefits recoverable.

[ 343 Pa. Super. Page 11]

It is clear, however, that the parents' claim is time-barred by the statute of limitation contained in Section 106(c) of the No-fault Act. This section provides as follows:

(c) Time limitations on actions to recover benefits. --

(1) If no-fault benefits have not been paid for loss arising otherwise than from death, an action therefor may be commenced not later than two years after the victim suffers the loss and either knows, or in the exercise of reasonable diligence should have known, that the loss was caused by the accident, or not later than four years after the accident, whichever is earlier. If no-fault benefits have been paid for loss arising otherwise than from death, an action for further benefits, other than ...


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