Monday, November 5, 2018

Detailed Bad Faith Complaint Survives Motion to Disimiss in Federal Middle District Court Case

In his recent decision in the case of King v. Travelers Companies, No. 3:18-cv-1549 (M.D. Pa. Oct. 11, 2018 Munley, J.), the court denied a carrier’s Motion to Dismiss a UIM bad faith Complaint.
According to the Opinion, this UIM bad faith claim involved injuries to three (3) family members as  a result of a motor vehicle accident.  The Plaintiffs claimed that their damages far exceeded the tortfeasors’ coverage and that their own carrier acted with reckless disregard with respect to the Plaintiffs’ requests for the payment of UIM benefits.  

The carrier moved to dismiss, asserting that the Plaintiffs had merely stated a claim of a dispute over the evaluation and failed to allege any specific facts beyond that to support any claims of bad faith.

Judge James M. Munley of the Federal Middle District Court of Pennsylvania denied the Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss indicating that, in one particular paragraph of the Complaint, the Plaintiffs had set forth twenty (20) alleged acts and/or omissions by the Defendant carrier that were specific to the bad faith claims.   

The court found that, based upon the Plaintiffs’ allegations, it was plausible that the carrier had acted in bad faith when it allegedly failed to conduct an investigation before denying the UIM claim.   The court found that the Plaintiff had raised an issue as to whether or not the carrier had denied the Plaintiff’s benefits with reckless disregard and alsi raised a question of whether or not the carrier’s decisions had a reasonable basis.  

The court additionally found that the Plaintiff pled enough facts to raise a reasonable expectation that discovery may reveal evidence to support the claims of bad faith presented.  

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

I send thanks to Attorney Lee Applebaum of the Philadelphia law firm of Fineman, Krekstein & Harris and the Pennsylvania and New Jersey Insurance Bad Faith Case Law blog for bringing this case to my attention.

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