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James Rowan, et al v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co

June 20, 2012

JAMES ROWAN, ET AL.,
PLAINTIFFS,
v.
STATE FARM MUTUAL AUTOMOBILE INSURANCE CO., DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Eduardo C. Robreno, J.

MEMORANDUM

I. INTRODUCTION

Plaintiffs James Rowan, Lorraine Rowan, Thomas Lynch, and Darlene Lynch (collectively, "Plaintiffs") bring this declaratory judgment action against Defendant State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company ("Defendant"). Plaintiffs' Complaint seeks a declaratory judgment that their insurance policy with Defendant has uninsured motorist and stacking benefits. Defendant answered denying all averments and asserting that Plaintiffs waived in writing their rights to uninsured motorist benefits.

Currently before the Court is Plaintiffs' Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings. For the reasons that follow, the Court will deny Plaintiffs' Motion.

II. BACKGROUND*fn1

Plaintiffs James Rowan and Lorrain Rowan are married, husband and wife, and reside in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Plaintiffs Thomas Lynch and Darlene Lynch are married, husband and wife, and reside in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Defendant is an insurance company and is a citizen of the State of Illinois.*fn2

On February 8, 2006, Plaintiff James Rowan purchased a motor vehicle insurance policy from Defendant that covered a 2001 Dodge Durango Sport Wagon. On that date, Plaintiff James Rowan signed a rejection of Uninsured Motorist Protection Form. That form provided as follows:

By signing this waiver I am rejecting uninsured motorist coverage under this policy, for myself and all relatives residing in my household. Uninsured coverage protects me and relatives living in my household for losses and damages suffered if injury is caused by the negligence of a driver who does not have any insurance to pay for losses and damages. I knowingly and voluntarily reject this coverage.

Signature of First Named Insured Date Plaintiffs' Compl. Ex. C, ECF No. 11. Also on the same page as this waiver form was a provision Plaintiffs call the "in futuro" clause. This clause provides as follows:

First Named Insured ___________ Policy Number _______

Date ________ Agent's Code ____

I understand that this acknowledgment of coverage rejection shall be applicable, as of the date specified above, to the policy of insurance identified above or for which application is being made, on all replacement policies and on all renewals of either this policy or any replacement policy, unless I request in writing a different selection for such coverage.

Id. On August 6, 2009, Plaintiffs James and Lorraine Rowan added a 2008 Honda Accord to Plaintiffs' automobile insurance policy.

Before June 10, 2010, Plaintiffs Thomas and Darlene Lynch were family members and resided in the same house as Plaintiffs James and Lorraine Rowan. On June 10, 2010, Plaintiff Thomas Lynch was operating the 2001 Dodge Durango with the permission of Plaintiffs James and Lorraine Rowan. On that same day, an unidentified vehicle caused Plaintiff Thomas Lynch to swerve and collide with a tree; he sustained several injuries as a result. On October 31, 2010, Plaintiff Thomas Lynch made a request of Defendant for ...


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