Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas, Civil Division, of Philadelphia County at No. 1036 October 1984.
Allen L. Feingold, Philadelphia, for appellants.
Thomas E. Butler, Jr., Philadelphia, for appellee.
Wickersham, Beck and Hoffman, JJ.
[ 352 Pa. Super. Page 140]
In October of 1984, a petition was filed by Joan McGinley and others in the court of common pleas of Philadelphia for the appointment of an arbitrator. Petitioners alleged that they were involved in a motor vehicle accident on June 5, 1979 and sustained injuries. Further, that they were insured at the time by Allstate Insurance Company (herein-after Allstate) under a named policy and that they desired arbitration of their claims pursuant to the uninsured motorist coverage of said policy. The petitioner named her choice of arbitrator. Allstate filed Preliminary Objections and a memorandum of law seeking dismissal. At the direction of the Honorable Thomas A. White, Allstate submitted a copy of their policy and various exhibits which included a letter from counsel for Allstate to counsel for petitioners dated September 20, 1982 indicating that Allstate had selected John J. Walsh, Esquire as their "choice of arbitrator." The petition had alleged that some of petitioners resided in Philadelphia County and some in New Jersey. Allstate, of
[ 352 Pa. Super. Page 141]
course, has an office and does business in Philadelphia County.
By Order of March 4, 1985 Judge White denied the petition and by Order of March 15, 1985 he denied a petition for reconsideration. This appeal timely followed with the following issue before us:
I. Did the lower Court err at law when it denied plaintiff's Petition to Appoint a Neutral Arbitrator following a showing of a valid contract of insurance between the parties with an agreement to arbitrate, and where plaintiffs made a prima facie showing that factual questions exist affecting the application or construction of the uninsured motorist clause, such issues being within the exclusive jurisdiction of the arbitrators?
Brief for Appellant at 2.
The arbitration clause of the policy in question ...