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DONEGAL MUTUAL INSURANCE COMPANY v. ANTHONY E. EYLER (01/09/87)

filed: January 9, 1987.

DONEGAL MUTUAL INSURANCE COMPANY
v.
ANTHONY E. EYLER, JEFFREY EYLER, STATE AUTOMOBILE MUTUAL INSURANCE COMPANY, DANIEL F. AUGHENBAUGH, BERNICE EYLER, CINDY PEGUINOT, STEVEN SPAHR, DIANE AUGHENBAUGH, CONNIE AUGHENBAUGH AND MELVIN AUGHENBAUGH. APPEAL OF DANIEL F. AUGHENBAUGH, DIANE AUGHENBAUGH, CONNIE AUGHENBAUGH AND MELVIN AUGHENBAUGH



Appeal from the Order dated March 6, 1986 in the Lancaster County Court of Common Pleas, Civil Division, No. 196-1985.

COUNSEL

Bishop Nicklas Kauffman, York, for appellants.

Daniel H. Shertzer, Lancaster, for State Automobile, appellee.

Cirillo, President Judge, and Montemuro and Kelly, JJ.

Author: Kelly

[ 360 Pa. Super. Page 90]

On March 25, 1984, an automobile accident occurred between a vehicle operated by Anthony Eyler and an auto operated by Daniel Aughenbaugh. The car operated by Anthony Eyler was owned by his brother, Jeffrey Eyler, and insured by State Automobile Mutual Insurance Company. At the time of the accident, Anthony Eyler resided with his mother, Bernice Eyler, who held an automobile liability insurance policy issued by Donegal Mutual Insurance Company. The other driver, Daniel Aughenbaugh, filed suit against Anthony Eyler for alleged injuries resulting from the accident.

On January 18, 1985, Donegal Mutual brought the declaratory judgment action which is the subject of the instant appeal; Donegal Mutual sought to determine which carrier, if either, had a duty to defend and/or indemnify Anthony Eyler against claims arising from the accident. The declaratory judgment complaint named as defendants State Automobile Mutual, Anthony Eyler, Jeffrey Eyler, Bernice Eyler, Daniel Aughenbaugh, and the family members who were passengers in the Aughenbaugh's vehicle (hereinafter referred to as "the Aughenbaughs"). On March 6, 1986, the court below granted the summary judgment motions of

[ 360 Pa. Super. Page 91]

    both Donegal Mutual and State Automobile Mutual, finding that neither carrier owed coverage for claims resulting from the accident. The Aughenbaughs have appealed the order of March 6, 1986. For the reasons stated herein, we affirm.

I. Standing to Appeal

Before reaching the merits of the issues raised on appeal, we must first determine whether the Aughenbaughs have standing to appeal the lower court's ruling regarding the extent of coverage to Anthony Eyler.*fn1

One may not appeal from a decision which is not adverse to him, even though he is a party to the action in which the decision was rendered. Prior v. Borough of Eddystone, 30 Pa. Commw. 536, 374 A.2d 981 (1977). Pennsylvania Rule of Appellate Procedure 501 limits the right of appeal to "any party who is aggrieved by an appealable order." The official note adds that "[w]hether or not a party is aggrieved by the action below is a substantive question determined by the effect of the action on the party . . . ." "In determining whether the interest asserted renders a litigant 'aggrieved,' the court must ascertain whether the interest is 'substantial,' 'direct,' 'immediate,' and 'not a remote consequence' of the challenged action." American Booksellers Assn., Inc. v. Rendell, 332 Pa. Super. 537, 553, 481 A.2d 919, 927 (1984). Thus, "to ...


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