Monday, August 3, 2009

Luzerne County Joins the Lists of Trial Courts Allowing for Consolidation of Third Party and UIM Claims Under a Single Caption

In the case of Glushefski v. Sadowski and Erie Insurance Exchange, No. 1189-Civil-2009, Judge Thomas F. Burke, Jr. of the Luzerne County Court of Common Pleas issued a July 29, 2009 Order allowing the consolidation or joinder of a third party motor vehicle accident lawsuit and a companion UIM (underinsured motorist benefits) claim under one caption.

In Glushefski, the third party tortfeasor defendant filed preliminary objections the first of which objected to the Plaintiff's joinder of the tort and UIM claims in a single action. According to Plaintiff's counsel, the first paragraph of the Court’s Order dismissed the preliminary objection challenging this joinder. Although the Court did not write an opinion, there is now precedent that such joinder is permitted in Luzerne County by virtue of this Court Order.

In addition to this Luzerne County Order, I am in possession of a number of other post-Koken trial court opinions from across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, all of which have consistently held that lawsuit claims against the tortfeasor defendant may be consolidated with companion UIM claims in cases where the UIM policy calls for a trial as opposed to an arbitration of the UIM claim. To date, there does not appear to be any appellate opinions on the issue.

For more analysis on the post-Koken cases in Pennsylvania, please click on the topic of "Koken" under the LABELS section on the right hand column of this blog

Anyone desiring a copy of this Luzerne County Order, or any other post-Koken trial court opinions and orders in my possession, may contact me at dancummins@comcast.net. I would be happy to email you a copy.

I thank Rick Russo, Esquire, partner in the Wilkes-Barre, PA firm of Rosenn, Jenkins & Greenwald and Plaintiff's counsel in the Glushefski case, for bringing this Order to my attention and providing me a copy of the same.

No comments:

Post a Comment