Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Federal Court Rejects Claim that Section 1716 of MVFRL Could Be Considered As Supporting Allegations in a UIM Bad Faith Claim

In the case of Deal v. Nationwide, Prop. & Cas. Ins. Co., No. 2:22-CV-01269-MH (W.D. Pa. Oct. 31, 2022 Horan, J.), the court granted in part and denied in part a UIM carrier’s Partial Motion to Dismiss that was filed in a bad faith claim. 

After finding that the Plaintiff had stated a valid statutory bad faith claim such that that part of the Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss should be denied, the court did grant a dismissal of the Plaintiff’s UTPCPL claim in that the Plaintiff had failed to allege specific representations that Nationwide had allegedly made they sold the policy to the Plaintiff.

Of note, the Plaintiff’s claim of a violation of  the mandates of 75 Pa. C.S.A. §1716 by the UIM carrier was dismissed. The court noted that §1716 of the MVFRL dealt with first party benefits.

The Plaintiff’s argued that UM benefits should be considered to be a hybrid of first-party and third-party claims and, therefore, should be entitled to the protections afforded under §1716.  The court rejected this argument.

The court noted that the MVFRL was organized into subchapters with each chapter dealing with a separate type of benefits., including a separate chapter on UIM benefits.

The court found that §1716 fell under the subchapter for first-party benefits.

Accordingly, the court ruled that §1716 plainly could not apply to UM benefits, which were covered by their own separate subchapter under the MVFRL.

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

Source: “Digest of Recent Opinions.” Pennsylvania Law Weekly (Nov. 18, 2022).

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