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RIDGEWAY COURT v. JAMES J. CANAVAN INSURANCE ASSOCIATES (12/13/85)

filed: December 13, 1985.

RIDGEWAY COURT, INC.
v.
JAMES J. CANAVAN INSURANCE ASSOCIATES, INC., AND AETNA INSURANCE COMPANY AND JAMES J. CANAVAN, JR., AND ALLEVA INSURANCE COMPANY, INC. APPEAL OF JAMES J. CANAVAN INSURANCE ASSOCIATES, INC., AND JAMES J. CANAVAN, JR. JOHN MATELYAN AND SHEILA MATELYAN V. JAMES J. CANAVAN INSURANCE ASSOCIATES, INC., AND AETNA INSURANCE COMPANY AND JAMES J. CANAVAN, JR., AND ALLEVA INSURANCE COMPANY, INC. APPEAL OF JAMES J. CANAVAN INSURANCE ASSOCIATES, INC., AND JAMES J. CANAVAN, JR. JOHN MATELYAN AND SHEILA MATELYAN, APPELLANTS V. JAMES J. CANAVAN INSURANCE ASSOCIATES, INC., AND AETNA INSURANCE COMPANY AND JAMES J. CANAVAN, JR., AND ALLEVA INSURANCE COMPANY, INC. RIDGEWAY COURT, INC., APPELLANT V. JAMES J. CANAVAN INSURANCE ASSOCIATES, INC., AND AETNA INSURANCE COMPANY, AND JAMES J. CANAVAN, JR., AND ALLEVA INSURANCE COMPANY, INC.



Appeal from the Order entered on July 24, 1984 in the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County Civil Division, No. 1370 November Term, 1978. Appeal from the Order entered on July 24, 1984 in the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County, Civil Division, No. 2408 November Term, 1980. Appeal from the Order entered on July 24, 1984 in the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County, Civil Division, No. 2408 November Term, 1980. Appeal from the Order entered on July 24, 1984 in the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County, Civil Division, No. 1370 November Term, 1978.

COUNSEL

Michael D. Gallagher, Philadelphia, for appellants (at 2501 & 2502) and for appellees (at 2503 & 2504).

Marshall A. Bernstein, Philadelphia, for appellants (at 2503 & 2504) and for appellee (at 2501 & 2502).

Charles W. Craven, Philadelphia, for Aetna, appellees.

Wickersham, Beck and Cercone, JJ.

Author: Cercone

[ 348 Pa. Super. Page 137]

Appellants, John and Sheila Matelyan (Matelyan), brought an action for professional negligence against James J. Canavan Insurance Associates, Inc. (Canavan), a corporation engaged in the business of brokering insurance coverage. On November 18, 1971, John Matelyan was seriously injured

[ 348 Pa. Super. Page 138]

    on a job site owned and controlled by Ridgeway Court, Inc. and D. Falcone, Inc. (the two corporations). Matelyan initially brought suit for his injuries against the two corporations, who had earlier retained James J. Canavan Insurance Associates, Inc., to provide them with full and adequate liability insurance coverage. After extensive discovery depositions and medical reports were produced, Matelyan entered into a settlement with the two corporations. A judgment was entered in the Matelyans' favor and against the two corporations in the amount of $1,250,000.00.

However, there was only $100,000.00 in insurance coverage and this amount was paid by Aetna Insurance Company, an appellee in the instant case, but against whom appellants have not requested relief. As part of the settlement, each defendant corporation assigned to Matelyan its claim against Canavan for its failure to provide adequate insurance. Another agreement provided the corporations with relief from any further liability regardless of the outcome of the instant case of Matelyan, assignee, against Canavan for professional negligence.

The Matelyans, in the instant case, allege that Canavan negligently and carelessly failed to advise the corporations properly and negligently failed to provide the full and adequate coverage which would have enabled the two corporations to pay the agreed judgment of $1,250,000.00.

In the proceedings below, the trial court sitting without a jury, heard testimony from James J. Canavan, Jr., who had been an officer of Canavan at the time of the incidents which gave rise to this suit. Marie Franchetti, an employee of Canavan, also testified. Dominic Falcone, an officer of two corporations was called as a witness. The lawyer who represented the two corporations in the settlement negotiations testified as to the background and reasons for the settlement. The lawyer representing Ridgeway Court, who was suing Canavan for attorney's fees, also testified. Called as experts ...


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