Monday, May 15, 2017

Westmoreland County Court of Common Pleas Severs Post-Koken UIM/Bad Faith Claims But Refuses to Stay Bad Faith Discovery Efforts

In a recent Order of Court out of the Westmoreland County Court of Common Pleas in the case of Madeja v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Ins. Co., No. 5493 of 2016 (C.P. Westmoreland Co. April 11, 2017 Scherer, J.), the court granted in part and denied in part the carrier Defendant’s Motion to Sever and Stay Bad Faith Claims from the UIM claims for both discovery and trial purposes.  

The wrinkle in this case is that the Plaintiff pled both common law bad faith claims and statutory bad faith claims.

The court granted the Defendant’s Motion to Sever in terms of separating UIM claim and the bad faith claims for purposes of trial.   The Court noted that the UIM claim would be tried before a jury first and that, after the return of a verdict on the UIM claim, if necessary, the bad faith claims would be heard with the same jury that determined the UIM claim deciding the common law bad faith claim and with the court deciding the statutory bad faith claim on a non-jury basis. 

The court otherwise denied the Defendant’s Motion to Stay Discovery relative to the bad faith claims.  

Anyone wishing to review this Order only may click this LINK.

I send thanks to Attorney Neil O’Donnell of the Kingston, Pennsylvania O’Donnell Law Offices for bringing this decision to my attention.  

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