Thursday, March 24, 2011

Another Victory for Insurance Company in Debris in the Road Case

On March 2, 2011, Judge Joy Flowers Conti of the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania granted a Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings in favor of Allstate Insurance Company based upon a Complaint for declaratory relief in the case of Allstate v. Squires, Civil Action No. 10-1458 (W.D. Pa. March 2, 2011, Conti, J.).

In this case, the issue was whether an insured can bring a claim for uninsured motorist benefits when he was involved in an automobile accident after swerving to avoid a box on the roadway that apparently came from a phantom vehicle.

Based upon the reasoning set forth in the Smith, Terwillinger, and the Adragna cases (the Adragna case was handled by my firm), Judge Conti found that Allstate did not have an obligation to extend uninsured motorist coverage since the accident at issue did not arise from the ownership, maintenance, or use of an automobile.

I send thanks to the prevailing attorney R. Sean O’Connell of the Pittsburgh law firm of Robb Leonard Mulvihill for forwarding this Decision to my attention.

Anyone desiring a copy of this Opinion may contact me at

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