Tuesday, September 17, 2019

UIM Bad Faith Claim Denied Due To Conclusory Allegations


In the case of Peters v. Geico, No. 19-CV-1119 (M.D. Pa. Aug. 14, 2019 Caputo, J.), the court dismissed a Plaintiff’s UIM bad faith claim after finding numerous allegations in support of this theory of recovery to be conclusory.  

In completing his analysis, the court stripped away the conclusory allegations in the Complaint to determine whether the bad faith claim was plausible under federal pleadings standards.   Once the court stripped away the conclusory allegations, the bad faith claim was simply based upon the facts that there was an accident, a tortfeasor’s willingness to pay the policy limits, and insured’s written demand for UIM benefits supported by a medical report, followed by a UIM carrier’s failure to settle.  

The court noted that these facts, alone, did not support a claim for bad faith which requires proof of an unreasonable denial of benefits in a knowing or reckless fashion by the carrier with the knowledge that its denial of benefits was unreasonable.  

The court did allow the Plaintiff to amend the Complaint but cautioned that the Amended Complaint would be required to set forth facts and not merely conclusory allegations in support of the bad faith claim.

Anyone wishing to review a copy of this decision by Judge Caputo in the Middle District may click this LINK.

I send thanks to Attorney Lee Applebaum of the Philadelphia law firm of Fineman, Krekstein, & Harris for bringing this decision to my attention.   Check out Attorney Applebaum's Pennsylvania and New Jersey Insurance Bad Faith Blog for the latest notable bad faith cases.

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