Friday, September 15, 2017

Summary Judgment Granted in Bad Faith Claim Where Delays in Claims Process Caused, In Part, by Insured

In the bad faith decision of Doherty v. Allstate Indem. Co., No. 15-05165 (E.D. Pa. April 6, 2017 Pappert, J.), the court granted the carrier summary judgment in a claim arising out of allegations of poor investigation and claims handling by the carrier.  

The case arose out of a landlord property insurance policy issued to an insured who owned multiple rental properties leased out to college students.  

In a lengthy Opinion in which the court summarized the current status of bad faith law concerning investigation and claims handling claims, the court granted summary judgment finding that there existed no clear and convincing evidence that the insurer acted in bad faith.  

Rather, the court found that the record made clear that the carrier’s delays were instead attributable to mistakes and possible confusion on the claim, along with, in part, the insured’s obfuscation and refusal to cooperate with the claims representative in the investigation into the claims presented.  

The court otherwise opined that the record revealed that the carrier conducted adequate investigation and had a reasonable basis for denying any coverage.   The court noted that any delays on the part of the insurer were attributable, in part, to the insured’s repeated failure to provide information necessary to open a claim.

Anyone wishing to review this decision may click this LINK.

I send thanks to Attorney Lee Applebaum of the Philadelphia law firm of Fineman, Krekstein & Harris.  Attorney Applebaum is the creator and writer of the Pennsylvania and New Jersey Insurance Bad Faith Case Law blog.  


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