Appeal from the Order entered January 5, 1984 in the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County, Civil Division, at No. 4246 September, 1982.
Jerry L. Cohen, Philadelphia, for appellant.
Gary S. Dion, Philadelphia, for appellee.
Rowley, Del Sole and Beck, JJ.
[ 354 Pa. Super. Page 428]
This is an appeal from a trial court order denying appellant's Petition to Vacate Award of Arbitrators. Appellant Cherokee Insurance Company ("Cherokee") contends that the arbitrators' award and the trial court's order in favor of the appellee-plaintiff were based on an error of law. We disagree, and therefore affirm.
Appellee Belinda Patrick was injured on July 22, 1981, when she was involved in a collision with an uninsured motorist while riding as a passenger in a taxicab owned and operated by Yellow Cab Company of Philadelphia ("Yellow Cab"). Yellow Cab is a common carrier authorized to carry passengers for hire within Pennsylvania. At the time the cause of action arose, Yellow Cab was insured under a policy of automobile insurance issued by appellant Cherokee. Included in the policy of insurance was an unsigned document, or endorsement, entitled "Rejection of Uninsured Motorist Coverage" ("Rejection Endorsement"). The endorsement stated that although a space for the insured's signature was provided, no signature was required to reject uninsured motorist coverage if the endorsement was issued before the effective date of the policy.
An arbitration hearing was held on May 24, 1983, in order to determine Patrick's claim against Cherokee under the
[ 354 Pa. Super. Page 429]
Uninsured Motorist Act ("Act"), Act of August 14, 1963, P.L. 909, § 1, as amended, 40 P.S. § 2000. The arbitrators rendered a unanimous award of $20,000.00 for Patrick. Cherokee then filed its Petition to Vacate Award of Arbitrators on the ground that the arbitrators had disregarded the Rejection Endorsement, and had thereby committed an error of law. The trial court denied Cherokee's petition and this appeal followed.
The standard of review in this case is governed by Section 7302(d)(2) of the Uniform Arbitration Act ("1980 Act") which provides as follows:
Where this paragraph is applicable a court in reviewing an arbitration award pursuant to this subchapter shall, notwithstanding any other provision . . . modify or correct the award where the award is contrary to law and is such that had it been a verdict of a jury the court would ...