UIM Jurisdiction in UIM Victim’s County

Posted on: July 10th, 2012       Attorney Thomas Newell

The Pennsylvania Superior Court issued a ruling in November of 2009 which rejected an attempt by a Pennsylvania underinsured motorist to litigate her UIM claim in Philadelphia County.  The victim lived in Delaware County and was injured in a Delaware County motor vehicle accident.  After she received the Defendant’s policy limit, First Liberty Insurance Co. denied her PA underinsured motorist claim.  Her UIM attorney filed a lawsuit in Philadelphia County alleging breach of contract and loss of consortium.

The Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas sustained the Defendant’s preliminary objections and transferred the case to Delaware County.  The Trial Court followed the forum selection clause contained in the underinsured motorist section of the auto insurance policy which required that UIM litigation take place in the County in which the UIM victim lived at the time of the auto accident.  The PA Superior Court rejected the Plaintiff’s arguments that the contract conflicted with Pennsylvania law and/or is against public policy.  O’Hara v. First Liberty Insurance Corp., 984 A.2d 938 (Pa. Super. 2009)