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BRAD AVRICH & CANDICE AVRICH v. GENERAL ACCIDENT INSURANCE CO. (10/23/87)

filed: October 23, 1987.

BRAD AVRICH & CANDICE AVRICH, TWO MINORS, BY JACK AVRICH & GINNY AVRICH, THEIR PARENTS AND NATURAL GUARDIANS AND JACK AVRICH & GINNY AVRICH IN THEIR OWN RIGHT, APPELLANTS,
v.
GENERAL ACCIDENT INSURANCE CO., UNIVERSAL UNDERWRITERS INSURANCE, LEON ROTHROCK AND DANIELS CADILLAC



Appeal from the Order entered in the Court of Common Pleas of Lehigh County, Civil Division, No. 86-C-1914

COUNSEL

Norman E. Blatt, Jr., Allentown, for appellants.

Kevin J. Kelleher, Bethlehem, for appellees.

Cirillo, President Judge, and McEwen and Tamilia, JJ.

Author: Tamilia

[ 367 Pa. Super. Page 249]

Appellants in this case appeal from a March 11, 1987 Order of the Lehigh County Court of Common Pleas which sustained the preliminary objections of appellee General Accident Insurance Company and dismissed appellants' complaints.

The facts surrounding the appeal are that appellants Ginny Avrich and her two children, Brad and Candice Avrich, were injured in an automobile accident on May 13, 1985, when the car operated by Mrs. Avrich collided with a car operated by Leon Rothrock. Appellants allege the cause of the accident was Rothrock's failure to stop at a stop sign. Rothrock had been test-driving a vehicle owned by Daniels Cadillac, Inc. Daniels is insured by Universal Underwriters Insurance Company and Rothrock is insured through General Accident Insurance Company. Appellants

[ 367 Pa. Super. Page 250]

    submitted claims to both companies and were denied payment by each. General Accident denied the claim on the grounds that it is the excess carrier and is only liable for payments in excess of the coverage of Universal. Universal denied the claim on the basis that Leon Rothrock is not a named insured and that the appellants' claim is outside the scope of the policy.

On September 10, 1986, appellants filed a complaint seeking a declaratory judgment of the insurers' obligation to pay.*fn1 General Accident filed preliminary objections to this complaint on December 10, 1986. These objections were the appellants lacked standing to file a declaratory judgment, the appellants had no interest in any coverage questions between the appellees, no actual case or controversy existed and the controversy would not be terminated if appellants were granted the requested relief, and thus the court lacked jurisdiction. The court, after entertaining argument, entered the March 11, 1987 Order in question sustaining the preliminary objections. Appellants timely filed appeal on March 20, 1987.

After a thorough review of the record, this Court finds no error in the trial court's determination that the relief sought by the appellants is outside the purview of the Declaratory Judgment Act. The Declaratory Judgment Act provides at 42 Pa.C.S.A. § 7532:

§ 7532. General scope of declaratory remedy

Courts of record, within their respective jurisdictions, shall have power to declare rights, status, and other legal relations whether or not further relief is or could be claimed. No action or proceeding shall be open to objection on the ground that a declaratory judgment or decree is prayed for. The declaration may be either affirmative or negative in form and ...


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