Allstate Prop. & Cas. v. Squire, No. 11-1664 (3d Cir. 2012)Annotate this Case
The insured was driving his pickup truck when he was injured after swerving to avoid a cardboard box lying in the middle of his lane. Allstate stipulated that an unidentified vehicle dropped the box, but rejected a claim for uninsured motorist benefits and sought a declaratory judgment. The insured responded with counterclaims for breach of contract and insurance bad faith under 42 Pa. Cons. Stat.8371. The district court entered judgment for Allstate, finding that the injuries did not "arise out of ownership, maintenance or use of an uninsured auto." The Third Circuit reversed, rejecting an argument that the harm was caused by a box, not a vehicle. Physical contact with an uninsured vehicle is not required for an accident to "arise out of" the use of an uninsured vehicle. Accepting for purposes of appeal that an unidentified vehicle that dropped the box was an uninsured vehicle, there is a sufficient causal connection. The court noted that the insurance law is to be liberally construed in order to afford the greatest possible coverage to injured claimants.