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Statute of Limitations: Addressing the applicable statute of limitations for an underinsured “UIM” motorist claim, the Third Circuit in State Farm v. Rosenthal, (decided on March 13, 2007), predicted how the Pennsylvania Supreme Court would resolve a statute of limitations issue involving underinsured motorist benefits.
UIM Waivers: The question of whether an insurance carrier must secure new waiver election forms when a new vehicle is added to an insurance policy resulted in the Pennsylvania Supreme Court in Sackett v. Nationwide, (decided on April 17, 2007), holding that the addition of a new vehicle to an insurance policy requires the insurance carrier to secure a properly-executed stacking waiver for uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage.
In Vance v. Casey’s Draft House, decided on March 13, 2007, the Superior Court affirmed a jury verdict awarding compensatory and punitive damages to the Plaintiff. The jury verdict had been appealed by the Defendants on grounds that an award of punitive damages could not be entered where the Plaintiffs had failed to present any evidence of the Defendants’ finances at trial. The Superior Court concluded that evidence of the Defendants’ finances was not a necessary prerequisite to the imposition of punitive damages, with the Superior Court affirming the awards of compensatory and punitive damages.
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court, reversing the Superior Court, held in Pennsylvania National Mutual Casualty Company v. Ellen Black, that a setoff provision in the underinsured motorist provision of an automobile insurance policy, reducing the Claimant’s underinsured motorist benefits recovery, did not violate public policy, and was, therefore, enforceable, as had been originally concluded by the trial court