Defense Prevails in Automobile Liability Case.
We secured the dismissal of a declaratory judgment action filed in federal court against a large insurer. This case arose from a motor vehicle accident that occurred in 2015. The plaintiff averred that she had sustained injuries in excess of the tortfeasor’s bodily injury liability limits and sought stacked underinsured motorist (UIM) benefits. While the plaintiff had admittedly signed a rejection of UIM coverage form and a rejection of UIM coverage stacked limits form, she argued that her insurer had altered the statutorily required forms by adding additional language. The plaintiff filed a declaratory judgment complaint against her insurer. We filed a motion to dismiss the complaint on behalf of the defendant, which was granted by the federal court. The court reasoned that the UIM rejection form “specifically complied” with the applicable requirements of Pennsylvania’s Motor Vehicle Financial Responsibility Law because the additional language, contained on the same page as the statutorily required rejection language, was “inconsequential.”