Appeal from the Order entered June 25, 1985 in the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, Civil Division, No. G.D. 85-6994
Joseph M. Hankins, Philadelphia, for appellant.
Lester E. Zittrain, Pittsburgh, for appellee.
Rowley, Del Sole and Cercone, JJ. Rowley, J., dissents.
[ 356 Pa. Super. Page 326]
This case presents for our determination two narrow and clearly-defined issues: whether the Pennsylvania Insurance Guaranty Association (the Association) is obligated to pay the loss of consortium judgment entered in favor of appellee, Jean R. Vickodil, as a "covered claim" under the Pennsylvania Insurance Guaranty Association Act, 40 P.S. § 1701.101 et seq. (the Act).*fn1 And, if it is, is the Association
[ 356 Pa. Super. Page 327]
obligated to pay interest on the judgment entered against Amram Enterprises, the insured of an insolvent insurance company, beginning on the date of the judicial declaration of insolvency, or on a date ninety (90) days following therefrom. The parties submitted these issues to common pleas court in an amicable action on a case stated basis. The court determined that the Association was obligated to pay on the loss of consortium judgment as a separate claim of Mrs. Vickodil and that, also, interest should be computed from the date of the judicial declaration of insolvency of the insurer. The Association appealed.
The facts of this case are as follows: On October 31, 1979, Appellee's husband, William J. Vickodil, Sr., was seriously injured when the pick-up truck he was operating in Beaver County, Pennsylvania, was struck by another vehicle which had been proceeding in the opposite direction and which crossed over to the wrong side of the roadway and crashed into the Vickodil vehicle. The vehicle which struck the Vickodil pick-up truck was being operated by an employee of the owner of the truck, Amram Enterprises.
The Amram vehicle was covered by bodily injury liability insurance as follows: primary coverage was by Aetna Insurance Company to limits of $100,000 per person and $300,000 per accident; first excess coverage was by Northeastern Insurance Company to $900,000 single limit as excess over the underlying Aetna coverage; and second excess coverage by Lexington Insurance Company to a $4,000,000 single limit as excess over the $1,000,000 underlying coverage provided by Aetna and Northeastern.
To recover damages arising from the accident, suit was filed on behalf of Mr. and Mrs. Vickodil against Amram Enterprises, the insured of the three companies. Mrs. Vickodil's only claim was for loss of consortium. A jury verdict of $1,398,928.10 was rendered in favor of Mr. Vickodil against Amram Enterprises, and a separate verdict of $75,006 resulted in favor of Mrs. Vickodil on her loss of consortium claim. The verdict was reduced to judgment on
[ 356 Pa. Super. Page 328]
April 2, 1984. That same month, Aetna paid its $100,000 primary coverage limit to the Vickodils. Lexington paid $473,934.10, which represents the amount which the total verdicts exceeded the combined $1,000,000 underlying coverage provided by Aetna and Northeastern. On June 1, 1984, Commonwealth Court declared Northeastern an insolvent insurer and ordered it liquidated and dissolved. Northeastern had never paid any of its applicable $900,000 first excess coverage limits to appellee or her husband. Proof of claim forms were submitted to the liquidators of Northeastern on behalf of the Vickodils as follows: the respective shares of the total jury verdict of $1,473,934.10 were 94.91% or $1,398,928.10 for ...