Monday, June 20, 2016

Bad Faith Claim Dismissed by Federal Court

In the case of Canizares v. Hartford Insurance Company, No. 16-1465 (E.D. Pa. May 27, 2016 Pratter, J.), the court dismissed a bad faith claim, without prejudice, after finding that the Plaintiff failed to meet the federal law standards of pleading a plausible claim by simply alleging legal conclusions. 

This matter arose out of damages caused to the Plaintiff’s home by a burst water pipe.   According to the Opinion, the insurance company paid for some of the damages to the premises as well as certain damages to personal property.   The Plaintiffs filed suit for the unpaid expenses associated with repairing damages to the premises along with a bad faith claim.  

The court reviewed the federal court threshold for pleadings under the Iqbal/Twombly standard which requires a Plaintiff to plead sufficient factual content to allow a court to draw a reasonable inference that the Defendant is allegedly liable for the misconduct pled.  

Here, the court found that the Plaintiff’s allegations primarily consisted of legal conclusions such that the federal court threshold for pleadings was not met.  However, the court dismissed the bad faith claim without prejudice in the event the Plaintiff later discovered information sufficient to factually plead such a claim.  

Anyone desiring a copy of this decision may contact me at dancummins@comcast.net.

I send thanks to Attorney Lee Applebaum of the Philadelphia law firm of Fineman, Krekstein & Harris and his fellow writers of the Pennsylvania and New Jersey Insurance Bad Faith Case Law Blog (www.pabadfaithlaw.com) for bringing this decision to my attention.

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