PA Supreme Court to Decide Fatal Dirt Bike Accident Case

Posted on: November 30th, 2015       Attorney Thomas Newell

On 11/4/15, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court granted allocatur in Wolfe v. Ross in order to decide whether a clause in a homeowner’s insurance policy correctly excluded coverage in a fatal PA dirt bike accident. A Butler County PA man allegedly hosted a party where a 19 year old young man consumed alcohol. He then borrowed a dirt bike from the homeowner’s son and crashed into a fixed object resulting in his death.

The Butler County Court of Common Pleas dismissed the Pennsylvania personal injury claim upon the defendant’s Motion for Summary Judgment. The Trial Court ruled that the homeowner’s insurance policy exclusion for injuries arising out of the use of a motor vehicle precluded recovery in this personal injury claim.

The Pennsylvania Superior Court affirmed the Butler County Trial Judge’s decision in an 8-1 ruling. The Pennsylvania personal injury attorney argued in appellate briefs that the furnishing of alcohol to an underage person was the proximate cause of the fatality, thereby circumventing the alleged application of the policy exclusion.