Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Bad Faith Claim Allowed to Proceed Based in Part Upon Negligence Claims Asserted Against Carrier

In Selmek v. State Farm Fire &Cas. Co., No. 14-388, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 162294 (W.D. Pa. Nov. 20, 2014 Fischer, J.), the court allowed a bad faith claim to proceed beyond the pleadings stage in a case involving a homeowner's policy.

In Selmek, the adjuster requested the insured to assist in the inspection of a damage roof and with the protecting of the roof from further damage.  In the process, the insured fell through the roof and was injured.

The insured brought claims for negligence and bad faith. 

The Court found that the insurer had a contractual duty of good faith to inform the insured that, under the policy, the insurer had the right to pay for a third party contractor to take on these sorts of risks in securing the property.  The insured alleged that the carrier improperly had the insured take on these tasks so as to allegedly save money by not hiring a contractor, as required under the policy. 

The court found such allegations to sufficiently state a statutory bad faith claim.

If you wish to read this Opinion in Selmek, please click this LINK
I send thanks to the writers of the excellent PENNSYLVANIA AND NEW JERSEY INSURANCE BAD FAITH CASE LAW BLOG, which can be viewed HERE, for bringing this case to my attention.


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