Friday, March 27, 2020

Claim of Bad Faith Delay of 6 Months in Opening UIM Claim Allowed To Proceed Forward


In the case of Angeli v. Liberty Mutual Ins. Co., No. 3:18-cv-703 (M.D. Pa. March 11, 2020 Mariani, J.), the court issued a lengthy Opinion in which it denied the carrier’s Motion for Summary Judgment in this bad faith claim arising out of a UIM matter.

Of note, the court addressed whether a delay by a carrier in opening a UIM claim as requested by its insured could amount to reckless indifference in order to support a bad faith claim.

According to the Opinion, there was an undisputed delay of about six (6) months in opening the file. During that time, the insured’s attorney had written to the carrier on multiple occasions making a claim, sending a demand, and asking for documents. However, the attorney did not receive any response to these inquiries and no UIM claim file was opened over the first six (6) months of the claim.

It was allegedly only after the insured called the carrier directly and asked to speak to an adjuster that a file was opened and an adjuster was assigned.

The court found that the issue of whether this alleged lack of responsiveness and lack of activity over a six (6) month period could amount to reckless indifference was a question for the jury to decide.

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

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

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