United States District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania
December 3, 1999
STATE FARM MUTUAL AUTOMOBILE INSURANCE COMPANY
DAVID SCHEIDLER AND RONALD SCHEIDLER.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Ludwig, District Judge.
In this declaratory judgment action, plaintiff State Farm
Mutual Automobile Insurance Company moves for summary judgment on
the enforceability of the household exclusion clause in an
automobile insurance policy issued to defendant David Scheidler's
father. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56.*fn1 The underlying claim is for
uninsured motorist benefits. Jurisdiction is diversity.
28 U.S.C. § 1332.
Facts Based on Stipulation and Admissions*fn2
1. On May 4, 1997, a motor vehicle owned and operated
by David Scheidler was involved in a collision with
an uninsured motorist.
2. David Scheidler sustained injuries as a result of
3. The uninsured motorist was at fault for the
4. The vehicle operated by David Scheidler on the
date of the accident was a 1994 Plymouth Sundance
owned by David Scheidler and insured under a policy
of automobile insurance issued by State Farm Mutual
Automobile Insurance Company, policy number
5. On the day of the accident, David Scheidler
resided in the household of this father, Ronald
6. Ronald Scheidler was the named insured on another
State Farm policy of insurance covering a 1984 Ford
LTD, policy number 8085-474-38.
7. Ronald Scheidler's policy contained a "household
exclusion" clause that states:
There is no coverage for bodily injury to an
insured under coverage U3:
1. While occupying a motor vehicle owned by you,
your spouse, or any other relative, if it is not
insured for this coverage under this policy; . . .
8. At the time of his accident, David Scheidler was a
resident relative of Ronald Scheidler, and was
occupying a vehicle which that he owned and that
was not insured for uninsured motorist coverage
under Ronald Scheidler's policy.
9. The household exclusion is clear and unambiguous.
10. Both David Scheidler and Ronald Scheidler
received reduced premiums in exchange for waiving
stacked uninsured motorist coverage.
11. The full uninsured motorist limits of $15,000
available under David Scheidler's policy have
already been paid to him.
Troebs v. Nationwide Insurance, 98-3556, 1999 WL 79555
(E.D.Pa. Jan. 20, 1999), expresses my views on facts and a
household exclusion virtually identical to the present case. The
decision upheld the exclusion, rejecting the argument that such
exclusions are unenforceable as against public policy. In making
the same argument here, defendants cite State Farm v. Craley,
No. 97-9019, 1998 WL 1077234, C.P. Berks (Dec. 28, 1998). For
reasons set forth in Troebs, Craley appears to be at variance
with the pertinent jurisprudence of the Pennsylvania Supreme
AND NOW, this 3rd day of December, 1999, the motion for summary
judgment of plaintiff State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance
Company is granted, and this case is dismissed.
A memorandum accompanies this order.
The Rule 16 conference scheduled for December 7, 1999 is