Friday, January 12, 2024

Bad Faith Action in Fire Loss Insurance Coverage Case Dismissed

In the case of Mohanan v. Liberty Mut. Pers. Ins. Co., No. 2:22-CV-02956-RBS (E.D. Pa. Nov. 20, 2023 Surrick, J.), the court granted a Defendant insurance company’s Motion to Dismiss the Plaintiffs’ claims of violations of the Pennsylvania Unfair Trade Practices & Consumers Protection Law, negligence, and bad faith relative to coverage questions related to the alleged smoke damage to a property.

The court found that the Plaintiff’s had failed to establish any deceptive conduct on the part of the carrier in terms of the carrier’s investigation and handling of the claim. The court also found that the Plaintiff had failed to produce any evidence of any act or omission by the carrier in terms of any alleged misrepresentations of the coverage available.

The court in this case otherwise ruled that the Plaintiff’s negligence claim was barred by the gist of the action doctrine in this breach of contract case.

The court otherwise found that the Plaintiff had not pled any facts to explain why the carrier’s investigation was unreasonable.

The court additionally rejected the Plaintiff’s claim that the carrier had a special relationship with the Plaintiffs simply by virtue of the fact that the Plaintiffs had purchased an insurance policy. As such, the Plaintiff’s claim of a heightened duty of care owed to the Plaintiff was rejected.

The court additionally noted that the parties had agreed that various references to treble damages, the request for attorneys’ fees, and the request for punitive damages and consequential damages should be stricken from Complaint as improper.

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

Source: “Digest of Recent Opinions.” Pennsylvania Law Weekly (Dec. 14, 2023).

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