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Progressive Northern Insurance Co. v. Henry

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF PENNSYLVANIA MIDDLE DISTRICT


September 8, 2010

PROGRESSIVE NORTHERN INSURANCE COMPANY, RESPONDENT
v.
ROBERT L. HENRY, DEBORAH M. HENRY, AND RYAN HENRY, PETITIONERS

Petition for Allowance of Appeal from the Order of the Memorandum Opinion and Order of the Superior Court at No. 1102 MDA 2008 dated June 8, 2009 reversing the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of York County at No. 2006-SU-4405-Y01.

Per curiam.

ORDER

AND NOW, this 8th day of September, 2010, the Petition for Allowance of Appeal is hereby GRANTED. The order of the Superior Court dated June 4, 2009, reversing the order of the Court of Common Pleas of York County is hereby VACATED, and the matter is REMANDED for the Superior Court to affirm the order of the trial court and to direct the trial court to reinstate the award entered by the arbitration panel. See generally Kvaerner Metals Division of Kvaerner U.S., Inc. v. Commercial Union Ins. Co., 908 A.2d 888, 897 (Pa. 2006) (stating that a court must give effect to policy language that is clear and unambiguous; alternatively when a policy provision is ambiguous, the policy must be construed in favor of the insured and against the insurer which drafts the contract).

Mr. Justice Saylor files a Dissenting Statement which Mr. Chief Justice Castille joins.

Petition for Allowance of Appeal form the Memorandum Opinion and Order of the Superior Court at No. 1102 MDA 2008 dated June 8, 2009 (Allen, Cleland and Fitzgerald, JJ.) reversing the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of York County at No. 2006-SU-4405-Y01 (Adams, J.)

DISSENTING STATEMENT

MR. JUSTICE SAYLOR

I respectfully dissent.

The allocatur stage is normally reserved for making the threshold determination of whether or not to grant discretionary review. See Supreme Court IOP §5C. Thus, I continue to believe that the use of per curiam orders effectuating reversals on the merits at this stage should be reserved for a very narrow set of clear-cut cases, in which there is directly relevant authority that indisputably controls the point in question. Accord Supreme Court IOP §3B(5); County of Berks v. Int'l Bhd. of Teamsters Local Union No. 429, 963 A.2d 1272, 1272-73 (Pa. 2009) (Saylor, J., dissenting). In my view, the majority's citation to Kvaerner Metals Division of Kvearner U.S., Inc. v. Commercial Union Insurance Company, 908 A.2d 888, 897 (Pa. 2006), does not satisfy the above standard, since that case is not directly on point. Moreover, the accompanying parenthetical that generally discusses the dichotomy of ambiguous and unambiguous insurance policy language falls far short of the necessary explanation of the decision's controlling significance here.

Mr. Chief Justice Castille joins this Dissenting Statement.

20100908

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