Emanuel E. Moaney, Jr., was employed by the church to operate its van. Plaintiff avers that although the posted speed limit was 35 miles an hour, Mr. Moaney was driving the van on August 21, 1994, in excess of 55 miles an hour. A second vehicle, owned by Mary Fonville Wesley, came out of a private road and as the result of the ensuing collision, plaintiff was seriously injured.
Plaintiff asserts in her complaint that Mr. Moaney "... was unable to stop his vehicle or prevent the impact between the two vehicles, as the result of operating the church van at a speed which was unsafe for the conditions of the road upon which he was operating. The negligent, careless and reckless, wanton and willful loss of control of the church van by Church Mutual insured driver, Emanuel Edwin Moaney, Jr., caused the impact between the two vehicles and further, caused the Plaintiff, Dorsen Turner, to sustain severe, permanent, and serious injuries as more fully set forth herein."
The complaint goes on, "Solely by reason of the negligence, carelessness and reckless and wanton and willful disregard of the safety of others by Church Mutual insured driver Emanuel Moaney, Plaintiff, Dorsen Turner, as a result of the impact between the two vehicles and the subsequent impact of the church vehicle into the tree ... [sustained] grievous personal injuries."
Ms. Turner asserts that she was one of ten passengers in the van at the time of the accident, all of whom were injured and all of whom have retained counsel.
Plaintiff's complaint goes on to allege that Nationwide Insurance Company, which provided liability coverage for the vehicle with which the church van collided, on November 22, 1994, forwarded a letter to all counsel tendering its policy limits, $ 25,000 for each accident and $ 50,000 for each occurrence. A copy of the Nationwide letter is attached to the complaint as Exhibit A. It asks that plaintiff's counsel contact other attorneys so that they can agree upon a distribution of the policy limits.
Plaintiff asserts that as a result of what she calls Nationwide's tender, she became a beneficiary of defendant's underinsured motorist coverage in the amount of one million dollars. She also contends that she is the beneficiary of the liability policy issued by defendant to AME Zion which has a value in excess of five million dollars.
Plaintiff goes on to allege that her attorney, Barbara E. Sarkin, Esquire, by letter dated January 31, 1995, advised defendant's claims attorney that she and counsel for the other defendants had reached an amicable resolution for the division among their clients of the proceeds of the Nationwide policy, $ 50,000, and the proceeds of defendant's underinsured motorist policy in the amount of one million dollars.
Plaintiff also refers to a December 5, 1994, demand letter in which her counsel stated:
Please allow this letter to formally advise you in your capacity as Claims Supervisor for the insurance carrier for Pennsylvania Avenue AME Zion Church that my client, Dorsen Turner, will accept the policy limit of ONE MILLION DOLLARS ($ 1,000,000.00) WHICH IS THE UNDERINSURED MOTORIST LIMIT OF COVERAGE FOR THE CHURCH VAN IN WHICH DORSEN TURNER WAS A PASSENGER ON AUGUST 21, 1994...