Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Judge Brann of Federal Middle District Court Addresses Proper Pleading of Bad Faith Claim

In the case of City of Williamsport v. CNA, Ins. Cos., No. 4:19-cv-00170 (M.D. Pa. May 16, 2019 Brann, J.), the court ruled that a Plaintiff must plead all of the elements of a bad faith claim in order to proceed on the same.

This case involved a coverage dispute and a bad faith claim.   The insured municipality sought repayment for a $1 million settlement over a death arising out of a motor vehicle accident involving one of the city’s police officers.  

Judge Matthew W. Brann
M.D. Pa.
The court dismissed the bad faith claim without prejudice given that, although the insured alleged that the carrier lacked a reasonable basis for denying benefits under the policies at issue, the insured did not allege that the carrier “knew or recklessly disregarded [the] lack of reasonable basis [when] denying the…claim[s],” as is required by law to support a finding of bad faith.  

The Plaintiff was granted the right to amend the Complaint.  

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

I send thanks to Attorney Lee Applebaum of the Philadelphia law firm of Fineman, Krekstein & Harris for bringing this case to my attention.   

Check out Attorney Applebaum’s excellent Pennsylvania and New Jersey Insurance Bad Faith Case Law blog HERE

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