The opinion of the court was delivered by: Caputo, District Judge.
This is an insurance coverage dispute. Jurisdiction is founded upon
diversity of citizenship. Presently before the Court are plaintiffs and
defendant's cross-motions for summary judgment. For the reasons set forth
below, defendant's motion will be granted and plaintiffs motion will be
This action was initiated by the filing of a complaint in the Court of
Common Pleas of Schuylkill County on or about June 16, 1999. On July 15,
1999, defendant filed a petition for removal to this Court. On April 24,
2000, defendant and plaintiff filed cross-motions for summary judgment.
The parties have stipulated to each of the facts presented in this
section. (See Stipulation of Facts, doc. 13, Ex. A). Plaintiff, Clyde
Leymeister and his wife Leisa Leymeister, are citizens of Pennsylvania.
Defendant, State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co., is an Illinois
corporation, authorized to write and issue insurance policies in the
Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
On August 3, 1997, plaintiff was injured in a motor vehicle action
which took place in Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania. At the time of the
accident, plaintiff was occupying a 1987 Ford Ranger insured under a
policy of insurance issued by State Farm, policy number 711 9443-E20-38
("the State Farm policy"). The State Farm policy was issued May 20,
1994, and was reissued, and renewal premiums paid, every six months
thereafter up to and including May 20, 1997. Clyde and Leisa Leymeister
were the named insureds on the policy. The other vehicle involved in the
accident tendered its applicable limits of liability coverage to the
plaintiff. Mr. Leymeister seeks underinsured motorist benefits under the
State Farm policy.
The State Farm policy covered two vehicles and provided stacking
underinsured motorist coverage with limits of $25,000 per person, $50,000
per accident (hereinafter "25/50" coverage). State Farm policy number 711
9443-E20-38, issued to Mr. Leymeister on May 20, 1994, was a reissuance
of a prior policy which had lapsed. Leisa Leymeister went to the agent's
office on May 20, 1994, requested that the policy be reissued, and
tendered a payment. The policy was issued in the same amounts which
had been in effect under the prior policy. Leisa Leymeister signed her
name and her husband's name to all the forms.
On or about March 31, 1995, Mrs. Leymeister requested changes to the
Leymeisters' State farm policies as follows: a) a 1991 Ford Aerostar van
was added; b) policy number 597 4603-C08-38L issued to Leisa Leymeister
and covering a 1985 Chevrolet Cavaher was combined into the instant
policy (number 711 9443-E20-38) to form a three-car policy; c) Leisa
Leymeister was added as a named insured to policy number 711 9443
On or about December 6, 1995, Mrs. Leymeister requested a change to the
State Farm policy to effect its cancellation on November 12, 1995. On or
about December 12, 1995, Mrs. Leymeister requested the following changes
to the State Farm policy: a) the limits of liability coverage were
increased from 25/50 per occurrence to $100,000 per person/$300,000 per
occurrence ("100/300"); b) the limits of uninsured motorist coverage and
underinsured motorist coverage were increased from $15,000 per
person/$30,000 per occurrence ("15/30") to 25/50;*fn1 c) wage loss,
medical payment and property damage coverages were also increased; d)
coverages for rental and travel expenses, and death, dismemberment and
loss of sight were added. Leisa Leymeister signed her name and her
husband Clyde Leymeister's name to the forms.
On or about February 1, 1996, Leisa Leymeister requested the following
additional changes to the State Farm policy: a) the Chevrolet Cavaher was
requested to be removed from the policy; b) a 1987 Ford Ranger was
added. On the same date, Leisa Leymeister signed her name and her
husband's name to the forms.
Whenever a change was made on the policy, a new declarations page
setting forth the types and amounts of coverage on the policy was mailed
to the insureds. Renewal notices setting forth the types and amounts of
coverages, and the charges for those coverages, were mailed to the
insureds every six months, including May 1996, November 1996 and May
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56(c) provides that the moving party
is entitled to summary judgment if "the pleadings, depositions, answers
to interrogatories, and admissions on file together with the affidavits,
if any, show there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that
the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law."
Fed.R.Civ.P. 56. A fact is "material" if proof of its existence or
nonexistence might affect the outcome of the suit under the applicable
law. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248, 106 S.Ct. 2505,
91 L.Ed.2d 202 (1986). "Facts that could alter the outcome are material
facts." Charlton v. Paramus Rd. of Educ., 25 F.3d 194, 197 (3d Cir.
1994), cert. denied, 513 U.S. 1022, 115 S.Ct. 590, 130 L.Ed.2d 503
(1994). "Summary judgment will not ...