Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Superior Court Addresses Issue of "Occupying" Vehicle Under Household Exclusion

In its recent decision in the case of Swarner v. Mut. Ben. Ins., 2013 Pa. Super. 198 (July 18, 2013), the Pennsylvania Superior Court addressed the household exclusion in the context of an application of the Utica Mutual factors as to whether or not an injured party was “occupying” a vehicle at the time of the accident.

According to a summary of this case, the injured party was thrown from one vehicle and then hit by another vehicle while lying unconscious on the road.   The original vehicle was apparently owned by the injured party’s spouse. 

After applying the factors applicable to the test of whether or not a person is “occupying a vehicle,” the court held that the household exclusion did not apply as the insured injured party was lying in the roadway after she ceased to occupy the original vehicle after being thrown from that vehicle during the first collision.

Anyone wishing to review the Swarner decision may click this LINK.

Source:  “Court Summaries” by Timothy L. Clawges, Esquire Pennsylvania Bar News (August 19, 2013).

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