Justices Find UIM Benefits Offset by All Recovered Damages
But Senior Judge Eugene B. Strassburger III dissented, arguing that double recoveries are forbidden by state law and that the Ryans were not entitled to UIM benefits because they had already been fully compensated for Mary Ryan's injuries.
Todd agreed with Strassburger's dissent, saying case law has held that the purpose of UIM coverage is to protect innocent victims from underinsured motorists who cannot fully compensate them for their injuries.
"As the Ryans were fully compensated for Mary Ryan's injuries, the purpose of the MVFRL is not furthered by allowing the Ryans to recover additional damages from AAA," Todd said, adding that there is a "longstanding prohibition in this commonwealth against double recoveries for a single injury."
Counsel for AAA, Andrew L. Riemenschneider of Moore & Riemenschneider in Abington, Pa., said he and his client were "really pleased" with the ruling.
Counsel for the Ryans, Gregory B. Heller of Young Ricchiuti Caldwell & Heller in Philadelphia, could not be reached for comment.
(Copies of the 13-page opinion in AAA Mid-Atlantic Insurance v. Ryan, PICS No. 14-0078, are available from Pennsylvania Law Weekly. Please call the Pennsylvania Instant Case Service at 800-276-PICS to order or for information.) •