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CHIRIBOGA v. INTERNATIONAL BANK FOR RECONSTRUCTION

March 29, 1985

CARLOS CHIRIBOGA AND FABIOLA CHIRIBOGA, AND SONIA CHIRIBOGA RUIZ, PERSONAL REPRESENTATIVE OF THE ESTATE OF JESUS GUEVARA, Plaintiffs,
v.
INTERNATIONAL BANK FOR RECONSTRUCTION AND DEVELOPMENT, T/A THE WORLD BANK, AND THE INSURANCE COMPANY OF THE STATE OF PENNSYLVANIA, Defendants


Green, J.


The opinion of the court was delivered by: GREEN

This matter comes before the Court on defendant World Bank's ("the Bank") motion to dismiss and the defendant Insurance Company of the State of Pennsylvania's ("Insurance Company") motion to dismiss, or in the alternative, motion for summary judgment. The plaintiffs brought suit against the defendants in an effort to recover $200,000 in benefits under an accident insurance policy held by a former employee of the World Bank. The defendant World Bank now contends that it is immune from suit because this case arose out of a dispute involving the Bank's "personnel policies or dealings with [Bank] employees." The defendant Insurance Company argues that the claims alleged against it should be dismissed for lack of subject matter jurisdiction, or in the alternative, that summary judgment should be granted in its favor because the insurance policy holder was not covered under the policy at the time the accident occurred. For the reasons set forth below, the Court grants the defendants' motions to dismiss.

 I.

 On July 11, 1983, Alicia Chiriboga Guevara and her husband, Jesus Guevara, were killed in an airplane crash in Ecuador. At the time of the accident, Alicia Guevara was employed by the World Bank in Washington, D.C. The trip to Ecuador was undertaken by the Guevaras -- both natives of Ecuador -- as part of the Bank's home leave benefit arrangement, which permits staff members and their families to return periodically to their home countries. The Bank authorized the Guveras's planned 19-day trip as "home leave travel" and as "annual leave". Only the two travel days to and from Quito, Ecuador, however, were authorized as home leave travel. The Bank paid for the Guevara's round trip fare between Washington and Alicia Guevara's home city of Quito, Ecuador.

 The Guevaras left Washington, D.C. for Quito on July 3, 1983. Approximately one week after their arrival in Quito the Guevaras elected to make a trip to the city of Cuenca, Ecuador. Unlike the trip to Quito, this trip was not specifically authorized by the Bank. The Guevaras themselves paid for the airplane tickets. On the way to Cuenca, the Transportes Aereos Nacionales Ecuitorianos 737 carrying the Guevaras crashed, killing numerous passengers. Among those killed were the Guevaras.

 At the time of her death Alicia Guevara was insured under a benefits plan provided by the World Bank to its employees. The Bank itself did not provide the insurance policy. Rather, the group travel accident policy was issued by the Insurance Company of Pennsylvania to the World Bank.

 The policy provided that "each employee as defined in paragraph 1A (1) 1A (2) of foreign accident endorsement W-1 will be insured for an additional sum of $100,000.00 in the event of death. . . ." Endorsement W-1, in turn, defined those eligible for air travel death benefits as:

 
I A.
 
1. . . . Executive Directors, their alternates, assistants to executive directors, staff members, and consultants employed by the assured, and visitors who are officially invited at the insured's expense to Washington, D.C. to observe the operation of the Economic Development Institute programs. . .
 
. . . .
 
5. Spouses of employees, as defined in (1) above, when expenses for travel are borne by the employer,
 
. . . .
 
All of Whom Are:
 
1. Travelling from their regular official station; or
 
3. Travelling in any place in the world away from their regular official station; or
 
4. Temporarily located away from their regular official station when officially authorized by the employer or authorized by a country governmental instrumentality or agency, entity organization, institution or group collaboration with the employer in work for mutual interests; or
 
5. On direct travel, proceeding on or returning from officially authorized home leave or rest and recuperation leave; or who
 
6. In connection with entering into the employment of the employer, are travelling from their home to their regular official station provided such travel is at the direction and expense of the employer;
 
7. Or who, in connection with termination of employment, are travelling in their home provided such travel is at the direction and expense of the employer; or
 
8. As a result of any of the above outlined travels and for personals [sic] reasons are on a delayed enroute or a deviation enroute provided such delay enroute or deviation in ...

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