Thursday, March 29, 2012

Superior Court Affirms Regular Use Exclusion Decision by Judge Nealon of Lackawanna County

In its recent non-precedential decision in the case of Erie Insurance Company v. Soroka, No. 1086 M.D.A. 2011 (Pa. Super. March 8, 2012 Gantman, Allen, and Mundy, J.J.) (Memorandum by Mundy, J.), the Pennsylvania Superior Court affirmed the trial court decision of Judge Terrence R. Nealon of the Lackawanna County Court of Common Pleas granting summary judgment in favor of Erie Insurance Company and denying the Soroka’s Motion for Summary Judgment on Erie’s Complaint for declaratory judgment in a case involving the UIM coverage exclusion for non-owned, regularly used vehicles.

For more background on the underlying facts and issues in this case, please click here for a review of Judge Nealon’s trial court decision.

In its appellate decision, the Superior Court basically applied the same law pertaining to the proper construction of insurance contracts. The Superior Court affirmed the trial court’s decision that, under the facts of the case, the inventory vehicle driven by the injured party Claimant at the time of the accident qualified as a non-owned vehicle regularly used by him, thereby triggering the exclusion at issue. More specifically, in this case, a partner of a used car dealership partnership was injured while driving one of the dealership’s inventory vehicles.

Anyone desiring a copy of this Superior Court Opinion, or Judge Nealon’s trial court Opinion, may contact me at dancummins@comcast.net.

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