The opinion of the court was delivered by: Munley, District Judge.
Before the court for disposition is the defendants' motion for
stay of action pending arbitration. The plaintiff is Liberty
Mutual Insurance Company, and the defendants are Wesley
Ventimiglia, Rose Ventimiglia, and Jasmine Marin. The parties
have briefed their respective positions, and the matter is thus
ripe for disposition. For the following reasons, we shall dismiss
Prior to December 3, 1998, plaintiff issued an automobile
insurance policy to Defendants Wesley and Rose Ventimiglia. The
policy included uninsured motorist liability amounts of
$50,000.00 each person and $100,000.00 each accident. The policy
covered Defendant Jasmine Marin as she was a resident relative
(daughter) of Defendant Rose Ventimiglia.
On December 3, 1998, Jasmine Marin was allegedly abducted at
gun point after exiting the school bus and forced into the
abductor's automobile. She finally escaped by jumping out of the
vehicle after being driven around for a while. During the escape,
she suffered injuries. Defendant Marin filed an uninsured
motorist claim under the Ventimiglia's automobile insurance
policy with the plaintiff, to recover for her injuries. Plaintiff
refused to provide benefits for the injuries.
Defendants sought arbitration of the matter, and filed a
petition for appointment of an arbitrator in the Court of Common
Pleas of Monroe County on January 3, 2000. The Monroe County
Court ordered Liberty Mutual to respond to the petition within
The defendants contend that pursuant to the arbitration clause
of the insurance policy at issue, the matter should be decided
through the arbitration process. The plaintiff disagrees and
contends that the matter should be decided before the United
States District Court. After a careful review, we are in
agreement with the defendants.
The insurance policy at issue provides as follows:
A. If we [plaintiff] and an "insured" do not agree:
1. Whether that "insured" is legally entitled to
recover damages; or
2. As to the amount of damages which are
recoverable by that "insured;" From the owner or
operator of a "uninsured motor vehicle" then the
matter may be arbitrated.
Either party may make a written demand for
arbitration. Arbitration shall be conducted in
accordance with the provisions of the Pennsylvania
Uniform Arbitration Act. Each party will select an
arbitrator. The two arbitrators will select a third.
If they cannot agree within 30 days, either may