Yussen, M.D. v. Medical Care Availability and Reduction of Error Fund, 2012 Pa. LEXIS 1259 (Pa., May 30, 2012)

When must the MCARE Fund defend under Section 715 status?

The Supreme Court held that the MCARE Fund owed a duty to assume the obligations of the primary insurer where the defendant physician and his insurer first received notice of the claim more than four years after the events giving rise to liability. A praecipe for writ of summons and a complaint were filed prior to the expiration of the four-year period; however, the physician and his insurer first received notice of the writ beyond the four-year period. The physician had a claims-made policy. The Court held that the terms "claim" and "made" as used in Section 715 of the MCARE Act are ambiguous. The Court noted that most claims-made policies incorporate a concept of notice to the insured. The Court held that there must be notice to the insured and that the mere filing of a praecipe for a writ of summons without notice does not suffice.

Case Law Alert - 3rd Qtr 2012