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SHERRY PIRCHES AND GEORGE PIRCHES v. GENERAL ACCIDENT INSURANCE COMPANY (06/13/86)

filed: June 13, 1986.

SHERRY PIRCHES AND GEORGE PIRCHES
v.
GENERAL ACCIDENT INSURANCE COMPANY, APPELLANT



Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas, Civil Division, of Philadelphia County at No. 2659, July Term, 1984.

COUNSEL

Joseph P. Connor, III, Philadelphia, for appellant.

Elliot B. Platt, Philadelphia, for appellees.

Wickersham, Wieand and Popovich, JJ.

Author: Wickersham

[ 354 Pa. Super. Page 305]

General Accident Insurance Company appeals from the order of the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County dismissing its petition to modify and/or vacate the arbitration award entered against it and in favor of appellees, Sherry and George Pirches.

Appellant had issued an automobile insurance policy to appellees, a married couple who reside in Pennsylvania. On October 16, 1981, while a passenger in a car owned and operated by her mother, Mrs. Foy, Sherry Pirches was injured when a taxicab went through a stop sign in Daytona Beach, Florida, and collided with her mother's car. The taxi driver was cited by the Daytona Beach Police Department for causing the accident. Mrs. Foy was insured by Colonial Penn Insurance Company; the taxi was owned by Economy Cab Company and was coincidentally insured by appellant. Mrs. Foy, the taxi driver, and Economy Cab were all domiciliaries of Daytona Beach.

Sherry Pirches brought a claim against Economy Cab and the driver of the taxi. At the time of the accident, the taxicab had policy limits in the amount of $10,000 per person and $20,000 per occurrence, which were the minimum amounts required by the State of Florida. As a result of the claims made against Economy Cab, appellant paid the

[ 354 Pa. Super. Page 306]

    entire policy limit of $20,000: $5,000 to Mrs. Pirches, $5,000 to Mrs. Foy, and $10,000 to another party who had been a passenger in the taxicab.

In addition, Sherry Pirches brought a claim under her mother's underinsured motorist policy, which had limits of $15,000 per person and $30,000 per occurrence. Both she and Mrs. Foy received $10,000 each under that policy.*fn1

Subsequently, appellees brought the instant claim against appellant, pursuant to the uninsured motorist provisions of their own Pennsylvania policy of insurance. On November 27, 1984, the lower court ordered the case to proceed to arbitration. Following a hearing on February 20, 1985, the arbitrators awarded Sherry Pirches $37,500, which was reduced by the $15,000 that she had already received from the prior claims, and awarded $2,500 to George Pirches on his loss of consortium claim. On May 31, 1985, appellant's motion to modify or vacate the award of the arbitrators was denied and the award of the arbitrators was confirmed. This appeal timely followed.

Appellant raises three issues before us:

I. Whether the arbitrators and subsequently the lower court failed to exclude from plaintiff, Sherry Pirches', case medical reports of plaintiff, Sherry Pirches, which failed to pass the standard of certainty required by Pennsylvania courts to prove causation through expert testimony.

II. Whether the arbitrators and the lower court erred in concluding that the claim asserted by Sherry Pirches and the claim asserted by George Pirches were uninsured motorist claims rather than underinsured motorist claims.

III. Whether the arbitrators and lower court erred in granting the loss of consortium claim of George Pirches where he was neither involved in the accident nor injured as a result of the accident nor was there a specific policy

[ 354 Pa. Super. Page 307]

    provision allowing for such recovery of ...


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