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HELEN E. BILLMAN v. PENNSYLVANIA ASSIGNED CLAIMS PLAN AND TRAVELERS INSURANCE COMPANY (08/12/86)

filed: August 12, 1986.

HELEN E. BILLMAN, ADMINISTRATRIX OF THE ESTATE OF BRIAN BILLMAN, DECEASED, FOR AND IN BEHALF OF ESTATE AND FOR AND IN BEHALF OF HELEN E. BILLMAN, NEXT OF KIN AND HEIR-AT-LAW OF SAID BRIAN BILLMAN, APPELLANT,
v.
PENNSYLVANIA ASSIGNED CLAIMS PLAN AND THE TRAVELERS INSURANCE COMPANY, APPELLEES



Appeal from the Judgment in the Court of Common Pleas, Civil, of Northampton County, at No. 1982-C-6267.

COUNSEL

William P. Coffin, Easton, for appellant.

Jeffrey P. Hoyle, Lansdale, for appellees.

Cirillo, President Judge, and Brosky, Rowley, Wieand, Montemuro, Beck, Tamilia, Popovich and Johnson, JJ.

Author: Montemuro

[ 355 Pa. Super. Page 526]

This appeal is from the February 12, 1985 order of the Court of Common Pleas of Northampton County granting appellees' motion for summary judgment. Appellant contends that the court below erred in finding that (1) she was not entitled to work loss benefits as administratrix of decedent's, Brian Billman's, estate under the Pennsylvania No-fault Motor Vehicle Insurance Act (No-fault Act)*fn1; (2) she was not entitled to work loss benefits as an alleged "survivor" of decedent under the No-fault Act; and (3) she was not entitled to receive interest on the overdue work loss benefits.

On August 4, 1981, appellant's son died as a result of an automobile accident. His vehicle was uninsured at the time. Following her appointment as administratrix of her son's estate, appellant applied to appellee, the Pennsylvania Assigned Claims Plan (PACP), for no-fault benefits on behalf of the estate and on behalf of herself, as decedent's survivor.*fn2 When appellee, the Travelers Insurance Co. (The Travelers), to whom the claim was assigned, failed to pay the claimed benefits, appellant brought the instant suit. The Travelers has since paid appellant five thousand dollars ($5,000) in survivor's loss benefits and fifteen hundred dollars ($1,500) in funeral expense benefits as partial settlement of appellant's claim.*fn3 On November 8, 1984, appellees

[ 355 Pa. Super. Page 527]

    filed a motion for summary judgment on the remaining issue of appellant's entitlement to work loss benefits as either a survivor or as administratrix of her son's estate.*fn4 Appellant filed a cross-motion for summary judgment on January 3, 1985. On February 12, 1985, the court below entered an opinion and order granting appellees' motion for summary judgment and denying appellant's cross-motion. This appeal followed.

We begin with the observation that in construing the No-fault Act, as in construing any statute, we are guided by the dictates of the Statutory Construction Act,*fn5 with the principal rule being, "The object of all interpretation and construction of statutes is to ascertain and effectuate the intention of the General Assembly. Every statute shall be construed, if possible, to give effect to all its provisions." 1 Pa.C.S. § 1921(a). The General Assembly's findings and avowed purpose in enacting the No-fault Act are expressed at 40 P.S. § 1009.102 as follows:

(a) Findings. -- The General Assembly hereby finds and declares that:

(9) a Statewide low-cost, comprehensive, and fair system of compensating and restoring motor vehicle accident victims can save and restore the lives of countless victims by providing and paying the cost of ...


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