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DELLA SHULTZ v. NATIONWIDE INSURANCE COMPANY AND STATE FARM INSURANCE COMPANY (01/26/88)

submitted: January 26, 1988.

DELLA SHULTZ, APPELLANT,
v.
NATIONWIDE INSURANCE COMPANY AND STATE FARM INSURANCE COMPANY, APPELLEES



Appeal from Judgment of the Court of Common Pleas, Civil Division, of Somerset County, No. 28 Civil 1986.

COUNSEL

David J. Flower, Assistant District Attorney, Somerset, for appellant.

R. Thomas Strayer, Johnstown, for Nationwide, appellee.

Margaret A. O'Malley, Johnstown, for State Farm, appellee.

Brosky, Wieand and Del Sole, JJ.

Author: Wieand

[ 373 Pa. Super. Page 430]

On January 17, 1985, a vehicle owned and operated by Della Shultz ran out of gas and was stopped in the southbound lane of Route 117 in Fayette County. Robert Geary, a passing motorist, observed Shultz's predicament, stopped his vehicle, and parked it, facing north, behind Shultz's vehicle in order to provide assistance. After gasoline had been obtained and while it was being poured into the tank of the Shultz vehicle, a vehicle operated by Mary Speelman struck the front of the Geary vehicle, pushing it backward into Della Shultz and pinning her between the rear of her vehicle and the rear of the Geary vehicle. As a result, Shultz was seriously injured.

On the date of the accident, the Pennsylvania No-fault Motor Vehicle Insurance Act of July 19, 1974, P.L. 489, No. 176, 40 P.S. § 1009.101 et seq., had been repealed and replaced, effective October 1, 1984, by the Motor Vehicle Financial Responsibility Law of February 12, 1984, P.L. 26, No. 11, § 8(a).*fn1 The Motor Vehicle Financial Responsibility

[ 373 Pa. Super. Page 431]

Law, however, only "applie[d] to insurance policies issued or renewed on or after the effective date of [the] act." Section 9 of the Act of February 12, 1984, P.L. 26, No. 11.*fn2

The Shultz vehicle was uninsured. The vehicle operated by Mary Speelman was insured by State Farm Insurance Company (State Farm) pursuant to a policy of insurance which had been issued under the Motor Vehicle Financial Responsibility Law of 1984. The vehicle owned by Robert Geary was insured by Nationwide Insurance Company (Nationwide) pursuant to a policy of insurance which had been issued under the No-fault law of 1974. It had not been renewed or reissued following repeal of the No-fault law and prior to the accident.

Shultz commenced an action for declaratory judgment against Nationwide seeking to determine Nationwide's liability for medical expenses and work loss benefits under the No-fault Act. Nationwide caused State Farm to be joined as an additional defendant. Subsequently, both insurance companies filed motions for summary judgment. State Farm's motion was granted because Shultz's claim against it was barred by the Motor Vehicle Financial Responsibility Law which, at 75 Pa.C.S. § 1714, provides as follows:

An owner of a currently registered motor vehicle who does not have financial responsibility . . . cannot ...


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