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RINEY MITCHELL v. PRUDENTIAL PROPERTY & CASUALTY INSURANCE COMPANY (10/04/85)

filed: October 4, 1985.

RINEY MITCHELL, APPELLANT,
v.
PRUDENTIAL PROPERTY & CASUALTY INSURANCE COMPANY



Appeal from the Order entered on May 18, 1984 in the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County, Civil Division, No. 2215 November Term, 1983.

COUNSEL

Thaddeus J. Bartkowski, II, Philadelphia, for appellant.

M. Landon Spencer, Philadelphia, for appellee.

Wickersham, Beck and Cercone, JJ. Wickersham, J., files a dissenting statement.

Author: Cercone

[ 346 Pa. Super. Page 330]

The parties are before this court upon the lower court's denial of appellant's petition to compel a second arbitration hearing, involving an automobile accident in which appellant was involved, in pursuance of a claim against a party different than the one he brought suit against in the first arbitration proceedings. Appellant was involved in the automobile accident at an intersection with an identified and insured driver whom appellant averred was the cause of the accident. Subsequently an arbitration panel trying the case between appellant and the identified and insured driver rendered an award in favor of the driver and against appellant.*fn1 Appellant now seeks to pursue a second arbitration hearing claiming compensation under the uninsured motorist clause of his automobile policy with Prudential Property and Casualty Insurance Company (Prudential) on the grounds that a parked truck, obstructing his view of the intersection where the accident happened, caused him to collide with the other car. He alleges the identity of the driver of the parked truck was not possible because he blacked out in the accident. The lower court in an opinion authored by Judge White of the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas stated that appellant's policy, in its uninsured motorist provision, provided for hit-and-run situations and did not contemplate an unidentified parked vehicle and accordingly denied appellant's petition to compel arbitration a second time. We reverse.

The insurance policy under which appellant was insured provides uninsured motorist coverage under the following conditions:

[ 346 Pa. Super. Page ]

If you've paid for this coverage (see Declarations Page), we'll pay you the amount you should have collected as

[ 346 Pa. Super. Page 331]

    damages for bodily injury from the person or organization responsible for the car accident in which you are injured, but only when you could not collect because:

The person or organization responsible for the accident has no liability insurance or had inadequate (less than the amount required by your state's financial responsibility law) liability insurance coverage at the time of the accident.

The person or organization responsible for the accident has adequate liability insurance coverage at the time of the accident, but, for some reason, the ...


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