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WIDENER UNIVERSITY v. FRED S. JAMES & CO. (01/07/88)

filed: January 7, 1988.

WIDENER UNIVERSITY, APPELLANT,
v.
FRED S. JAMES & CO., INC.; AND MARSH & MCCLENNAN, INC.; AND AMERICAN CASUALTY CO. OF READING, PENNSYLVANIA; COMMERCIAL UNION INSURANCE COMPANY; INSURANCE COMPANY OF NORTH AMERICA; AND RELIANCE INSURANCE COMPANY, APPELLEES



Appeal from the Order December 12, 1986, in the Court of Common Pleas of Delaware County, Civil No. 84-6848.

COUNSEL

Rocco P. Imperatrice, III and Francis J. Leto, Media, for Widener, appellant.

Robert J. Hoelscher, Philadelphia, for James, appellee.

John Gerstein, Washington, for American Casualty, appellee.

Edward Connelly, Philadelphia, for Commercial, appellee.

Neil Clain, Philadelphia, for Insurance Co., appellee.

Lisa Passnate, Philadelphia, for Reliance, appellee.

Wieand, Olszewski and Hoffman, JJ.

Author: Olszewski

[ 371 Pa. Super. Page 81]

This is an appeal from the order of the trial court denying plaintiff/appellant's motion for summary judgment and granting summary judgment in favor of all defendants/appellees. For the reasons stated below we affirm the trial court's order.

This case arose in the following manner. Appellant, Widener University (Widener), brought a civil action in the Court of Common Pleas, Delaware County, against defendants American Casualty Company of Reading, Pennsylvania (American Casualty)*fn1 and insurance brokers, Fred S. James & Co., Inc. and Marsh and McClennan, Inc. Widener alleged that American Casualty breached a contract of insurance by failing to reimburse Widener for legal fees and expenses incurred by Widener in defense of litigation commenced by the former dean of Widener's Delaware Law School against Widener, Delaware Law School, and several of their respective officers and trustees.*fn2

Widener alleged, alternatively, that the defendant brokers were liable to Widener for reimbursement of the legal fees and expenses for improper performance of, or failure to perform, their obligations to Widener as its insurance brokers.

American Casualty joined as additional defendants Commercial Union Insurance Company (Commercial Union), Insurance Company of North America (INA), Reliance Insurance Company (Reliance) and St. Paul Fire and Marine

[ 371 Pa. Super. Page 82]

Insurance Company.*fn3 American Casualty alleged that the additional defendants were either solely liable to Widener for reimbursement of legal fees and expenses, or liable to American Casualty for contribution for any amounts which American Casualty might be compelled to pay Widener.

Following motions and cross-motions for summary judgment, an order was entered by the trial court granting summary judgment in favor of all defendants and against Widener. Widener now appeals. The complexity of this case requires that we deal with each defendant separately; however, we note at the outset our ...


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