Thursday, September 17, 2015

Order of Applying Comparative Negligence Percentage Followed By Liability Credit in Post-Koken Auto Verdict

In the case of Pusey v. Allstate Insurance Company, PICS Case No. 15-1258 (C.P. Delaware Co. May 21, 2015 Green, J.), the Court addressed the proper procedure for applying credits and comparative negligence in an underinsured motorist trial.

According to a summary of the Opinion, this matter arose out an incident during which a minor was struck by a vehicle while the minor was riding his bicycle.

Prior to trial, the tortfeasor’s carrier tendered its $25,000.00 policy limits to the Plaintiff. The Plaintiff then brought suit against the UIM carrier for underinsured motorist coverage.

After a trial, the jury awarded the Plaintiff $58,600.00. However, the jury also attributed 41% of the negligence to the minor Plaintiff.

When a dispute arose over how to apply the credit for the tortfeasor’s limits and the comparative negligence percentage, the court ruled that the comparative negligence percentage should be applied first, and then followed by the application of the credit owed from the tortfeasor’s liability limits.

This matter was apparently going up on appeal as it appeared that the trial court’s opinion was a Rule 1925 Opinion. Anyone wishing to review a copy of this decision may contact the Instant Case Service of the Pennsylvania Law Weekly at 1-800-276-7427 and pay a small fee.

Source: "Digest of Recent Opinions," Pennsylvania Law Weekly (August 18, 2015).

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