Sunday, July 17, 2011

Pennsylvania Superior Court Affirms Waiver of Stacking Decision

Tort talkers may recall that I previously reported on the case of Heller v. State Farm, No. 408-2008 (Venango Co. 2010, Boyer, J.), a decision that served to clarify certain issues involving inter-policy stacking in UIM cases.

That original decision was also noted to provide an excellent explanation of the interplay of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s decisions on this issue in the Craley and Generette decisions.

For more details on that trial court decision, click this link to that blog post:

http://www.torttalk.com/2010/05/clarifying-opinion-out-of-venango.html.


As an update, I note that on July 13, 2011, the Pennsylvania Superior Court issued a memorandum opinion in Heller v. State Farm, No. 844 WDA 2010 (Pa.Super. July 13, 2011 Panella, Shogun, Colville, JJ) affirming the trial court's decision.

In this case, the Plaintiff was attempting to get around their valid waiver of stacking and the State Farm policy's "other insurance clause" in an effort to realize a greater recovery.  The Superior Court rejected the Plaintiff's arguments on the waiver of stacking issue and ruled in favor of State Farm.

Anyone desiring a copy of this Superior Court Opinion may contact me at dancummins@comcast.net.

I thank the prevailing defense attorney in the Heller case, Attorney Tom McDonnell of the Pittsburgh law firm of Summers, McDonnell, Hudock, Guthrie & Skeel, P.C. for bringing this decision to my attention.

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