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HAMILTON BANK AND CORESTATES FINANCIAL CORP. v. INSURANCE COMPANY NORTH AMERICA (04/14/89)

filed: April 14, 1989.

HAMILTON BANK AND CORESTATES FINANCIAL CORP., APPELLANTS,
v.
INSURANCE COMPANY OF NORTH AMERICA, APPELLEE



Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Lancaster County, Civil Division at No. 2213 of 1986.

COUNSEL

Daniel B. Huyett, Reading, for appellants.

Christopher W. Mattson, Lancaster, for appellee.

Cavanaugh, McEwen and Popovich, JJ.

Author: Popovich

[ 384 Pa. Super. Page 12]

This is an appeal from an order entered by the Lancaster County Court of Common Pleas, granting the appellee's motion for summary judgment against the appellant. We affirm.

When reviewing a lower court's entry of summary judgment, we are guided by the following standards of review which were recently reiterated in Hower v. Whitmak Associates, 371 Pa. Super. 443, 538 A.2d 524 (1988):

Summary judgment should not be entered unless the case is free from doubt. Weiss v. Keystone Mack Sales, Inc., 310 Pa. Super. 425, 456 A.2d 1009 (1983). Since the moving party has the burden of proving that no genuine issues exist as to the material facts, the record must be examined in a light most favorable to the non-moving party; in doing so all well-pleaded facts in the non-moving party's pleadings are accepted as true and that party is given the benefit of all reasonable inferences to be drawn therefrom. Spain v. Vicente, 315 Pa. Super. 135, 461 A.2d 833 (1983). Summary judgment shall be granted if the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories and admissions on file, together with affidavits, if any, show that there is no genuine issue of material fact and that the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Williams v. Pilgrim Life Insurance Co., 306 Pa. Super. 170, 452 A.2d 269 (1982).

Hower, 371 Pa. Superior Ct. at 445, 538 A.2d at 525; see also Consumer Party of Pa. v. Comm., 510 Pa. 158, 173-75, 507 A.2d 323, 331 (1986); In re Estate of Reinert, 367 Pa. Super. 147, 150-52, 532 A.2d 832, 834 (1987); Huffman v. Aetna Life and Cas. Co., 337 Pa. Super. 274, 276-77, 486 A.2d 1330, 1331 (1984).

The undisputed facts*fn1 are as follows: Between December of 1981 and June of 1982, Hamilton Bank and CoreStates

[ 384 Pa. Super. Page 13]

Financial (hereafter "Bank") made sixteen loans totaling over $1.4 million to nine Mexican companies for the purpose of financing purchases of American goods for importation into Mexico. The loans were procured through Humberto Tamez Garcia, agent for the Mexican companies. Prior to dispersing the loan proceeds, Bank required the following documents: promissory notes signed by the debtor companies, sales invoices issued by the exporter and bills of lading from the carrier. For each of the loans, Bank accepted photocopies of the original counterparts of the bills of lading. After the Mexican borrowers defaulted on the loans, Bank discovered that the carriers' names on the bills of lading had been forged and that the description of the goods allegedly shipped was false.

Bank submitted claims for reimbursement under its export credit insurance provided by the Export-Import Bank of the United States and the Foreign Credit Insurance Association. FCIA denied the claims on the basis that the invoices and/or bills of lading were forged or otherwise fraudulent. Bank then filed its claim for $1.2 million ($1.4 million less policy deductible) with the Insurance Company of ...


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