Friday, July 16, 2021

Bad Faith Claim Dismissed Due to Insufficient Facts; Motion to Amend Allowed

In the case of Brown v. LM Gen. Ins. Co., No. 21-2134 (E.D. Pa. June 7, 2021 Pratter, J.) (Mem. Op.), the court dismissed statutory bad faith claims asserted against an insurance company after finding that the Plaintiff’s allegations were insufficient, including the failure of the Plaintiff to cite facts to support allegations of an unreasonable delay or to prove entitlement for the full policy limit.

The carrier also moved to strike the references to “recklessness,” “wanton,” and “willful,” conduct in this motor vehicle accident case in which it was alleged that the tortfeasor driver had fallen asleep at the wheel.

According to the Opinion the tortfeasor driver lacked insurance coverage. As such, the Plaintiff filed an uninsured motorist claim against her own carrier.

The carrier denied the Plaintiff the full stacked limits of her uninsured motorist coverage. The Plaintiff filed suit in response, asserting that the carrier had failed to obtain the additional waivers of stacked coverage when she added new vehicles to her policy, including the vehicle involved in the accident.

As noted above, the court granted the carrier’s Motion to Dismiss finding that the Plaintiff had failed to sufficiently detail the conduct of the carrier in order to support the claims presented.

The Plaintiff was granted the right to amend.

The court also noted that the Plaintiff’s allegations of willful, wanton, recklessness conduct by the carrier in the context of her breach of contract claim were not relevant. Yet, the court held that such allegations could be relevant to her bad faith claim if the Plaintiff chose to amend that claim.

Anyone wishing to review a copy of this decision may click this LINK.  The companion Order can be viewed HERE.

Source: “Digest of Recent Opinions.” Pennsylvania Law Weekly (June 22, 2021). 

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