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TERESA J. MOWERY v. PRUDENTIAL PROPERTY & CASUALTY INS. CO. (01/04/88)

filed: January 4, 1988.

TERESA J. MOWERY, APPELLANT,
v.
PRUDENTIAL PROPERTY & CASUALTY INS. CO., APPELLEE



Appeal From Judgment Entered January 15, 1987 Court of Common Pleas, Civil Division Cumberland County, No. 2466 Civil 1986.

COUNSEL

Hubert X. Gilroy, Carlisle, for appellant.

Jeffrey B. Rettig, Harrisburg, for appellee.

Cavanaugh, Brosky and Watkins, JJ.

Author: Cavanaugh

[ 369 Pa. Super. Page 495]

The issue in this case is whether § 1714 of the Motor Vehicle Financial Responsibility Law, 75 Pa.C.S.A. § 1714, is constitutional. § 1714 provides:

§ 1714. Ineligible claimants

An owner of a currently registered motor vehicle who does not have financial responsibility or an operator or occupant of a recreational vehicle not intended for highway use, motorcycle, motor-driven cycle, motorized pedalcycle or like type vehicle required to be registered under this title cannot recover first party benefits.

[ 369 Pa. Super. Page 496]

The factual situation is not complex and the parties have stipulated to the facts. Teresa J. Mowery, the appellant and plaintiff below, was the registered owner of a 1976 Chevrolet Malibu passenger car which was not insured.*fn1 On March 23, 1986 the appellant was a passenger in a vehicle operated by John Calaman which was involved in an accident with a vehicle operated by Richard Scott. Mr. Scott died as a result of the accident and Mr. Calaman and the appellant were injured. The appellant incurred medical bills and lost wages as a result of the accident. She submitted a claim under 75 Pa.C.S.A. § 1713(a)(3) against the appellee, Prudential Property & Casualty Insurance Company, which insured Mr. Calaman. The claim was for first party benefits consisting of medical bills and work loss.*fn2 The appellee denied benefits under 75 Pa. § 1714 on the grounds that the appellant was the owner of a registered vehicle who did not have financial responsibility as defined by the Act.

Mowery filed a complaint for declaratory judgment in the court below requesting that § 1714 of the Motor Vehicle

[ 369 Pa. Super. Page 497]

Financial Responsibility Act be declared unconstitutional as applied to her. Prudential filed an Answer and New Matter. Subsequently, the appellant filed a motion for summary judgment which was denied and by order of January 13, 1987 the court below by Bayley, J. decided that § 1714 was constitutional. It further denied the appellant's Motion for Summary Judgment and entered summary judgment in favor of Prudential. In a proper case, summary judgment may be entered in favor of a non-moving party. Port Authority of Allegheny County v. Flaherty, 6 Pa. ...


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