Appeal from the Order entered July 23, 1985, in the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County, Civil Division, at No. 3704 December, 1983.
T. Jonathan Hankin, Philadelphia, for appellant.
A. Richard Feldman, Philadelphia, for appellee.
Cavanaugh, Beck, and Johnson, JJ.
[ 356 Pa. Super. Page 215]
Appellant Steven Jones filed a complaint in assumpsit against appellee Travelers Insurance Company (Travelers) alleging that on January 18, 1982 he had been injured in a collision with an uninsured motorist while riding as a passenger in a taxicab owned and operated by Metro Transportation Company, t/a Yellow Cab Company ("Yellow Cab"). Jones alleged that he was himself uninsured, and that he had filed claims for both basic loss benefits*fn1 and uninsured motorist benefits*fn2 with the Pennsylvania Assigned Claims Plan ("Plan").*fn3 This appeal involves only Jones's claim for uninsured motorist benefits.
The complaint further stated that the Plan had designated Travelers as the servicing insurance company for payment of Jones's basic loss benefits. In addition, the complaint asserted that Travelers denied Jones's claim for uninsured motorist benefits.
[ 356 Pa. Super. Page 216]
In its answer to Jones's complaint Travelers in New Matter denied liability for the uninsured motorist benefits and stated that if anyone was liable for such benefits it would be either Yellow Cab as a self-insurer, or Northwestern National Insurance Company ("Northwestern"), the company Travelers apparently understood to be Yellow Cab's No-fault carrier.
Travelers then filed an additional defendant complaint against Northwestern and Yellow Cab, alleging that one of the two was solely liable for Jones's uninsured motorist benefits. Yellow Cab and Northwestern filed a joint Answer and New Matter stating that 1) Guaranty National Insurance Company ("Guaranty") was Yellow Cab's insurer; and 2) that Yellow Cab had exercised its right to reject uninsured motorist coverage in its policy of insurance with Guaranty pursuant to Section (a) of the Uninsured Motorist Act. See 40 P.S. § 2000(a)(2).
The case proceeded to compulsory arbitration where the arbitrators found in favor of Jones and against Yellow Cab in the amount of $5,000.00, and found Travelers and Northwestern not liable. Yellow Cab then appealed the arbitrator's decision to the trial court. Travelers filed a Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings. The court granted the motion and issued an order dismissing Travelers from the case and holding Yellow Cab solely liable to Jones for any uninsured motorist benefits to which he might be entitled. This appeal followed.
The sole issue before us is whether the trial court properly granted judgment on the pleadings after determining as a matter of law that Travelers, as the designated assigned claims carrier, was not ...