Court Holds That Trailed Vehicle Is A "Motor Vehicle" For Insurance Purposes
Posted Scott B. Cooper on Nov 28, 2012 in Car Accidents
Below is the link to the Superior Court opinion from November 27, 2012 in Barnes v. Keller, --- A.3d --- (Pa. Super. Nov. 28, 2012) which reverses a Judge Tereshko Order which determined that a person was not entitled to uninsured (UM) motorist coverage when they were struck by an unidentified vehicle while they are working while operating the jetter which is attached to a tractor. He held that the jetter attached to the tractor was not a motor vehicle.
The Superior Court reverses and writes that an unattached trailer is NOT a motor vehicle. Also, there is no doubt that a truck tractor IS a motor vehicle. However, the court ends up resolving the unanswered question of whether the resulting tractor trailer is a motor vehicle. Applying the liberal and broad purpose of UM coverage and relying upon Callahan v. Federal Kemper Insurance Co., 568 A.2d 264 (Pa. Super. 1989) the court concludes that a trailed vehicle can be a motor vehicle for UM purposes. The trial court opinion on the issue is reversed.
What are your thoughts on whether the injured person was "occupying" the jetter?
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