On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Middlesex County.
Dreier and Baime. The opinion of the court was delivered by Dreier, J.A.D.
Defendant Travelers Insurance Company (Travelers) and plaintiff Robert R. Healey appeal from Law Division orders determining that Personal Injury Protection (PIP) benefits were awardable to plaintiff under a Travelers' auto insurance policy and that defendant Allstate Insurance Company's (Allstate) benefits were not available. Travelers has appealed from the order of liability, and plaintiff has apparently cross-appealed solely from the order relieving Allstate from responsibility.
The facts in this case are relatively simple. Plaintiff, a resident of Texas, rented a car insured by Travelers at Newark Airport to attend a family party. The named insured on the Travelers' policy was National Car Rental, a corporation. After becoming intoxicated at the party, plaintiff left the car parked in a parking lot and was walking when he was struck by a car insured by defendant Allstate. It was represented, however, that the Allstate-insured vehicle was owned, principally garaged and operated by a driver domiciled in the State of New York who was merely passing through New Jersey at the time.
The Travelers' policy substantially conformed to N.J.S.A. 39:6A-4. In pertinent part, the statute reads:
Every automobile liability insurance policy insuring an automobile as defined in this act against loss resulting from liability imposed by law for bodily injury, death and property damage sustained by any person arising out of ownership, operation, maintenance or use of an automobile shall provide personal injury protection coverage. . . . to the named insured and members of his family residing in his household who sustained bodily injury . . . as a pedestrian, being struck by an automobile or by an object propelled by or from an automobile. . . .
The relevant section of the policy reads:
'[E]ligible injured person' means
(a) the named insured or any relative of the named insured, if the named insured or relative sustains bodily injury
(2) while a pedestrian, as a result of being struck by a private passenger automobile or by an object propelled by or from a private passenger automobile.
The statute defines "named insured" as
the person or persons identified as the insured in the policy and, if an individual his or her spouse. . ...