Thursday, August 23, 2012

Another Court Holds That UIM Carrier Need Not File Motion To Mold to To Secure Credit Against UIM Award

Earlier this week I reported on the case of Sabella v. Nationwide Mut. Ins. Co., No. 1:12-CV-00582 (M.D. Pa. Aug. 14, 2012 Rambo, J.), in which Federal Middle District Court Judge Sylvia Rambo held that a UIM carrier need not file a Motion to Mold an Arbitration Award in order to have that award reduced by the amount of the credit due in the form of the tortfeasor's liability limits.

Since reporting on the Sabella case, I was advised of the decision of Mercer County Court of Common Pleas Judge Robert G. Yeatts in the same regard in the case of Whiting v. Erie Ins. Group, No. 2012-721 (C.P. Mercer Co. August 6, 2012 Yeatts, J.).

In Whiting, Judge Yeatts reduced a $70,000 UIM arbitration award by the amount of the tortfeasor's $50,000 liability limits over the objection by the Plaintiff that the UIM carrier had failed to file a motion or petition to mold the award. 

The court noted that the Plaintiffs had not provided any legal authority in support of their position that a motion or petition to mold after the entry of a UIM arbitration award was required.  Rather, the court agreed with the carrier's argument that the molding of the award was self-executing under the terms of the policy and/or an application of Pennsylvania law confirming that the UIM carrier was entitled to the credit.

The Whiting v. Erie Ins. case is on its way up to the Superior Court for review.  Anyone wishing to read the Whiting case may click this LINK

Anyone wishing to review the Sabella case on the same topic may click this LINK

I send thanks to Attorney William C. Wagner of the Erie law firm of Marnen Mioduszewski Bordonaro Wagner & Sinnott, LLC, the prevailing defense attorney in Whiting, for providing me with a copy of that decision.

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