Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Recent Bad Faith Decision From Superior Court

Recently, on December 28, 2009, the Pennsylvania Superior Court affirmed summary judgment in favor of Progressive Insurance Company in the bad faith case of Johnson v. Progressive, 2009 WL 5066780, 2009 Pa.Super. 255 (Pa.Super. 2009 Bowes, J.).

According to Judge Bowes' Opinion, the UIM policy limits of $100,000 were demanded by the Claimant. After discovery, an offer of $30,000 was extended. Eventually, an arbitrator awarded the Claimant $75,000.00.

The Opinion also noted that the carrier conducted a reasonable investigation into this claim in which the extent of damages was disputed between the parties. No misrepresentations by the carrier were found and it was indicated that the carrier moved the matter along to the arbitration in a prompt fashion.

The court also rejected the Plaintiff's claim that the carrier's settlement offer was too low, especially when compared with the award that was eventually entered. It was found that there was sufficient evidence to support the differences of opinion on the value of the case presented.

As such, the Superior Court affirmed the trial court's entry of summary judgment in favor of the carrier after finding that there were no genuine issues of material fact with respect to the finding that the carrier had not displayed any evidence of bad faith in the handling of this claim.

In addition to the Westlaw citation above, this case can also be viewed at http://www.superior.court.state.pa.us/opin.htm.

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