Harleysville/Lake States can't take "second bite at the apple"
Keith Kangas was badly hurt on US-23 when another driver struck a truck tire in the road, lost control and struck Kangas' car. Kangas had purchased Uninsured Motorist Coverage from Lake States and raised a claim under the policy for the [unidentifiable--and therefore "uninsured"] truck tire owner. Harleysville/Lake States proceeded to arbitration, but when the arbitrators awarded the remainder of its $500,000.00 policy to Kangas, after credit for the payments by the insurers of the young woman who lost control, Harleysville attempted to overturn the award in Circuit Court.The trial and appellate courts rejected this attempt, noting that mixed questions of fact and law (in this case whether the truck tire owner met the policy definition of "uninsured") are properly questions for the fact-finding arbitrator. In this case the insurer attempted to "roll the dice" in arbitration, preserving the right to overturn the procedure if it didn't like the outcome. The court refused to give the insurer "two bites at the apple" and to use the court system as an "appellate parachute". The arbitration award was upheld.