Tuesday, September 13, 2016

UIM Bad Faith Claim Dismissed by Western Federal District Court

In a recent Western District of Pennsylvania Federal Court decision of Homer v. Nationwide Mut. Ins. Co., No. 2:15-cv-01184-NBF (W.D. Pa. Aug. 26, 2016 Fisher, J.), the court granted an insurance company’s Motion to Dismiss a Plaintiff’s bad faith claim related to actions allegedly taken by the carrier during a previous underinsured motorist proceeding.  

Nationwide moved for the dismissal on the ground that the Plaintiff could not rely upon litigation conduct as the basis for an insurance bad faith claim under Pennsylvania law.   Nationwide also asserted that the Plaintiff had not sufficiently plead the elements of an unfair trade practices and consumer protection law claim.  

In her decision, Judge Fisher noted that the case before her appeared to present an issue of first impression with respect to litigation conduct in the context insurance bad faith allegations.  

After a review of the matter before her along with the relevant legal authority in Pennsylvania and other jurisdictions, the court granted the carrier’s Motion to Dismiss.   In so ruling, Judge Fisher concluded that Pennsylvania would likely adopt an approach where there could only be bad faith litigation conduct “in rare cases involving extraordinary facts.”  

Anyone wishing to review a copy of this decision may click this LINK.  

I send thanks to Attorney Daniel L. Rivetti, Esquire of the Pittsburgh office of Robb, Leonard, Mulvihill, LLP for bringing this decision to my attention.  

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