Tuesday, July 22, 2014

A Split of Authority Develops on Admissibility of Bad Faith Expert Testimony

In his recent decision in the case of Monaghan v. Travelers, No. 3:12CV1285 (M.D.Pa. July 16, 2014 Munley, J.), Judge James Munley bucked the recent trend of Pennsylvania court decisions holding that expert testimony is unnecessary in insurance bad faith cases by ruling that, under F.R.E. 702, each bad faith case should be decided on its own merits in determining whether such expert testimony would be beneficial in assisting a jury of lay people in understanding the issues presented.

In denying the defense motion in limine to preclude the Plaintiff's bad faith expert, the court deferred its decision on whether the Plaintiff's proposed bad faith expert testimony impermissibly addresses the ultimate issues presented.  The court granted the defense the right to raise this objection at trial if necessary.

Anyone wishing to review this decision of Judge Munley in the Monaghan case may click HERE.

I send thanks to Attorneys Scott Cooper and Michale E. Kosik, both of the Harrisburg law firm of Schmidt Kramer, for bringing this case to my attention.

For decisions going the other way, click HERE to review a post on the Federal Western District of Pennsylvania case of Schifino v. GEICO case,  and HERE to go to the Federal Western District Court decision in the case of Smith v. Allstate.

Click HERE to read a post the prior Federal Middle District of Pennsylvania decision issued by Judge Malachy E. Mannion in Scott v. GEICO in which Judge Mannion ruled that bad faith testimony was not necessary in this context.

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