Monday, August 9, 2021

Forum Selection Clause in UIM Policy Upheld as Unambiguous

In the case of Van Divner v. Sweger, No. 1129 MDA 2020 (Pa. Super. June 24, 2021 Bowes, J., Dubow, J., and Stevens, P.J.E.) (Op. by Stevens, P.J.E.), the court addressed an appeal from a trial court Order granting Preliminary Objections filed by the UIM carrier in this motor vehicle accident case on the issues of the application of the forum selection clause in the policy.

The injured party Plaintiffs asserted that the trial court erred in granting the Defendant's Petition to Transfer the Case to another County on the basis of a forum selection clause.   The Plaintiff argued that the forum selection clause was allegedly ambiguous in terms of at what point the residency of the insured should be determined to apply under the forum selection clause, i.e., either at the time the policy was purchased or at the time of the accident.

The Superior Court found that the trial court had erred in transferring the UIM claim under the forum selection clause to another county. The court found that the forum selection clause was not ambiguous and clearly tied the relevant time of residency to the time that the action was brought. As such, the trial court’s Order was vacated and remanded for further action.

Anyone wishing to review a copy of this decision may click this LINK.

Source: “Digest of Recent Opinions.” Pennsylvania Law Weekly (July 13, 2021).

Source of image:  Photo by Clement Nivesse from Pexels.

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