Friday, November 6, 2015

Judge Minora of Lackawanna County Addresses Validity of UIM Sign Down Form

In his recent decision in the case of Schoenberg v. State Farm Insurance Company, No. 2012-CV-5005 (Lacka. Co. Oct. 13, 2015 Minora, J.), Judge Carmen D. Minora of the Lackawanna County Court of Common Pleas denied the Defendant’s Motion for Summary Judgment in a declaratory judgment matter on UIM coverage issues.

The central issue in this matter was whether or not the carrier had a valid UIM coverage sign down election form from the Plaintiff.

This matter arises out of a motor vehicle accident that occurred on November 2, 2010. Following the accident, a claim was submitted to the carrier on behalf of the Plaintiff’s decedent for UIM coverage.

The insurance company Defendant pointed to a sign down form which indicated that the Plaintiff’s decedent had elected uninsured/underinsured coverage of $15,000.00.

In its Motion for Summary Judgment, the carrier argued that the requirements of 75 Pa C.S.A. §1734 and 1791 had been complied with in securing the reduction of UIM benefits coverage under the policy.

The Plaintiffs countered with the argument that the forms were insufficient, that the forms were ambiguous, and also raised an issue as to whether or not the form contained the signature of the Plaintiff’s decedent (as opposed to a forged signature).

Judge Carmen D. Minora
Lackawanna County
After reviewing the current status of Pennsylvania law on the election of reduced UM/UIM coverage, Judge Minora found that genuine issues of material fact pertaining to whether or not the decedent’s signature was valid served to preclude the entry of summary judgment. 

Anyone wishing to review Judge Minora's Opinion in Schoenberg may click this LINK.

No comments:

Post a Comment