Archive for the 'PA – UTPCPL' Category

NO BAD FAITH WHERE NO BENEFIT IS DENIED (Philadelphia Federal)

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In this property damage case, a policy endorsement placed defined limits on the scope of covered property damage. For example, the insured might have to pay for work covering 400 square feet to accomplish repairs needed to correct a problem, but the endorsement might only cover 200 square feet out of that 400. In this case, the insurer was only willing to pay for a portion of the insured’s overall repair costs, per the endorsement, but the insured wanted coverage for the entire amount. The insured brought breach of contract, bad faith, and unfair trade practices claims, and was now on his second amended complaint. The insurer moved to dismiss.

There is no breach of contract

Judge Kearney agreed that the insurer’s limited payment comported with the endorsement, and there was no breach of contract. He rejected the notion that the underlying policy could be kept in play, while striking off the endorsement on an unconscionability theory. Unconscionability is an affirmative defense and not a cause of action. Thus, the insured could not use this theory as a plaintiff. The court also rejected the insured’s reasonable expectations argument in refusing to rewrite the policy and strike the endorsement.

Although not pleaded in either the original complaint or two subsequent amendments, the insured argued against dismissal on the basis that a key word in the endorsement was ambiguous. Construing that ambiguity for the insured would purportedly allow for broader coverage. The court gave leave for another amendment, with the admonition to the insured and counsel that any amendment asserting this new position had to comply with Rule 11.

There is no actionable bad faith claim when there is no denial of a benefit

On the bad faith claim:

  1. The court could not infer the insurer lacked a reasonable basis to deny benefits, or acted with intent or reckless disregard in doing so. The insured himself alleged that benefits were not denied on the policy with the endorsement, only that the endorsement should be stripped from the policy, which would then allow additional benefits. As the court rejected that position, no benefits were denied under the policy as actually written.

The court noted that leave was given to replead the contract claim on the new ambiguity theory. Judge Kearney extended this possibility to re-pleading the bad faith on an ambiguity theory, if such a claim could be properly pleaded. He reminded the insured, however, that simply re-pleading the breach of contract on the basis of ambiguity “does not automatically equal statutory bad faith.”

  1. The court observed that “Pennsylvania’s bad faith statute does not extend to conduct unrelated to the denial of a claim for benefits.” To quote Judge Kearney at length:

Bad faith claims do not remedy an insurer’s allegedly insufficient performance of its contractual obligation or to indemnify losses. [citing Toy v. Metro. Life Ins. Co., 593 Pa. 20, 928 A.2d 186, 198-200 (Pa. 2007).] Our Court of Appeals has affirmed “legislative intent. . . makes clear that the [bad faith] statute was intended specifically to cover the actions of insurance companies in the denial of benefits.” [citing Wise v. Am. Gen. Life Ins. Co., No. 02-3711, 2005 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 4540, 2005 WL 670697 (E.D. Pa. Mar 22, 2005), aff’d, 459 F.3d 443 (3d Cir. 2006).] The General Assembly did not intend bad faith liability to extend to an insurer’s solicitation of customers or to regulate insurance policies generally. [Id.] For example, [the insured] argues [the insurer] acted in bad faith when it bargained with [the insured] for his insurance plan. We cannot recognize a bad faith claim for actions unrelated to the handling or denial of benefits. [The insured] also fails to plead a single fact evidencing delay or unreasonable treatment of his claim other than a disagreement over whether the Endorsement should govern. We cannot locate a fact suggesting a frivolous or unfounded refusal to pay the insurance proceeds. [The insured] does not plead a lack of good faith investigation into the facts or a failure to communicate. Instead, we must disregard conclusory allegations unsupported by facts, including the catch-all “acting unreasonably and unfairly.”

Finally, the court observed that any claim that the carrier interpreted an ambiguous policy term in bad faith would need many more facts than found in plaintiff’s current arguments.

Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law (UTPCPL) claim dismissed, and insured admonished as to nature of any future amendment

As to the putative deceptive conduct in including the endorsement, the court found that the complaint failed to allege intent or justifiable reliance. Thus, the catch-all UTPCPL deceptive practices claim failed, lacking these two necessary elements. Moreover, the alleged claim constitutes nonfeasance (failure to pay), rather than misfeasance, and thus fails on this additional ground.

While leave to amend remained on the table, the court admonished the insured that any new UTPCPL claim based on misfeasance would be scrutinized in light of existing judicial admissions indicating the claim is only one for nonfeasance.

Date of Decision: August 9, 2019

Boring v. State Farm Fire & Cas. Co., U. S. District Court Eastern District of Pennsylvania CIVIL ACTION NO. 19-1833, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 134242 (E.D. Pa. Aug. 9, 2019) (Kearney, J.)

 

NEW JERSEY FEDERAL COURT WOULD ALLOW PA BAD FAITH CLAIM TO PROCEED ON BASIS THAT INSURER KNEW ITS REPRESENTATIVE MISREPRESENTED THE POLICY’S SCOPE PRIOR TO POLICY BEING ISSUED (New Jersey Federal)

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In this case, the insured alleged that promises made in selling a disability policy differed from the terms of the policy itself, to the insured’s detriment. Although a New Jersey federal action, the case involved Pennsylvania law, including the Pennsylvania bad faith statute. The insurer moved to dismiss the bad faith count, and well as claims for breach of the duty of good faith and fair dealing and fraud.

First, the court quickly dismissed the separate claim for breach of good faith and fair dealing as subsumed in the breach of contract claim.

As to the bad faith claim, the insured asserted in his brief the carrier was aware of prior misrepresentations by its sales representative about the scope of coverage. Therefore, the insurer could not in good faith enforce the terms of the policy that limited coverage more narrowly that the sales representative’s promises, which had induced the insured to purchase the policy.

The factual basis of these allegations was that the insurer had been sued before on the same basis, and the sales representative’s deposition had been taken where he admitted his conduct.

This was only included in the insured’s briefing on a motion to dismiss. The complaint itself made no reference to the prior suit or the deposition; nor did the insured plead that the carrier was aware of the sales representative’s misstatement before issuing the policy. Thus, this count was dismissed without prejudice, presumably to replead with these allegations included in an amended complaint.

[Note: There is case law indicating that pre-suit misrepresentations are addressed via Pennsylvania’s Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law, whereas statutory bad faith is based on post-policy conduct in the handling and disposition of claims made against the policy. An example can be found here.]

The court refused to dismiss a separate fraud count on the gist of the action theory, finding that the fraudulent inducement preceded the contract; however, again, the facts were not adequately set forth and dismissal was without prejudice.

Date of Decision: August 8, 2019

Javie v. Mass. Cas. Ins. Co., U. S. District Court District of New Jersey Civil Action No. 18-2748, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 133123 (D.N.J. Aug. 8, 2019) (Vazguez, J.)

DISTRICT JUDGE LEESON ISSUES TWO OPINIONS DEMONSTRATING THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN WELL-PLEADED vs. CONCLUSORY BAD FAITH COMPLAINTS (Philadelphia Federal)

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In these two UIM cases, Eastern District Judge Joseph F. Leeson, Jr. addressed motions to dismiss bad faith claims. In Krantz v. Peerless, he dismissed the bad faith claim and remanded the action to state court, but in Perez-Garcia v. State Farm, the bad faith claim survived a motion to dismiss. The pleading differences in these two cases are described below.

Failure to plead to supporting facts results in dismissal of bad faith claim.

In Krantz, the UIM bad faith plaintiff argued that the insurer improperly interpreted the policy in refusing to pay full policy limits. The complaint alleged the insurer relied upon an invalid and unlawful setoff provision in withholding $37,500 out of the $100,000 policy limit. Judge Leeson found, however, the insured failed to plead facts showing the setoff provision was invalid, “or, more importantly, that [the insurer] knew or should have known that it was denying the full amount of benefits based on an invalid provision.”

In granting the motion to dismiss the bad faith claim, Judge Leeson also found the following allegations conclusory because the complaint lacked any other supporting factual allegations that could make these statement plausible:

(1) the insurer did not make any good faith offers to settle despite repeated demands;

(2) the insurer “failed to objectively and fairly evaluate his claim”;

(3) the insurer “failed to promptly tender payment of the fair value of the claim”; and

(4) the insurer failed to reasonably investigate the claim.

Judge Leeson gave examples of the kind of facts needed to support these sorts of conclusory allegations, but such facts were absent from the complaint. He concluded:  “’Essentially, Plaintiff’s cursory allegations assert that Defendant lacked a reasonable basis for denying Plaintiff’s claim for benefits, but do not provide any factual allegations from which the Court could make a plausible inference that Defendant knew or recklessly disregarded its lack of a reasonable basis for denying benefits.’”

The case had been removed from the Court of Common Pleas of Lancaster County. After dismissing the bad faith count, plaintiff’s damage claims no longer exceeded $75,000. Thus, Judge Leeson remanded the case.

Date of Decision: March 11, 2019

Krantz v. Peerless Indemnity Insurance Co., U. S. District Court Eastern District of Pennsylvania No. 18-cv-3450, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 38923, 2019 WL 1123150 (E.D. Pa. Mar. 11, 2019) (Leeson, Jr., J.)

Factual details support the bad faith claim, but UTPCPL claim dismissed.

In Perez-Garcia, the insured alleged he “incurred medical bills and wage loss following an automobile accident caused by an underinsured driver….” The complaint alleged the insured provided “medical documentation clearly setting forth injuries to [his] right knee and injuries to the left ankle caused by the motor vehicle accident….” [Emphasis added.]

To support his bad faith claims, plaintiff further alleged the insurer’s claim specialist “asserted, without medical support, that none of the injuries that Plaintiff sustained were the result of the motor vehicle accident” at issue. The complaint alleged the insurer refused to pay any benefits on the basis on this adjuster’s medical conclusions, despite medical reports to the contrary which had been provided to the adjuster.

The insurer unsuccessfully moved to dismiss the bad faith claim. Judge Leeson first rejected the notion that this was merely a bald claim that the insurer refused to pay UIM benefits after having paid first-party benefits. Rather, the complaint specifically alleged that the insurer had medical documentation in hand that supported the insured’s version of events, but rejected that evidence without any medical evidence to the contrary.

The complaint alleged the insurer did not conduct a proper investigation into the medical history. Rather, the insurer allowed its own claim adjuster — described as “a non-medical reviewer” — to substitute the adjuster’s medical judgment for the judgment of actual medical professionals. These facts were sufficient to state a bad faith claim.

Judge Leeson did dismiss plaintiff’s Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law (UTPCPL) claim on two bases: (1) there were no allegations that plaintiff relied upon the conduct at issue in suffering any damages; and (2) the UTPCPL can only address claims surrounding formation of the insurance contract, not post-contract claim denial.

Date of Decision: March 15, 2019

Perez-Garcia v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co., U. S. District Court Eastern District of Pennsylvania No. 5:18-cv-03783, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 42327 (E.D. Pa. Mar. 15, 2019) (Leeson, Jr., J.)

(1) LARGE DISCREPANCY BETWEEN INSURED’S SETTLEMENT DEMAND AND INSURER’S OFFER OR (2) REFUSING POLICY LIMITS DEMAND, DO NOT BY THEMSELVES CONSTITUTE BAD FAITH (Philadelphia Federal)

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This UIM case involved breach of contract, common law bad faith, statutory bad faith, and Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law (UTPCPL) claims. The seriously injured insured received the other driver’s $100,000 limits in settlement, and demanded the $300,000 UIM limits from his carrier. The insured’s expert placed lost income over $600,000, in addition to the serious personal injuries. The UIM insurer offered less than $12,500 to settle, and the insured brought suit.

The insurer successfully moved to dismiss the bad faith and UTPCPL claims, but the insured was given leave to amend on two of those claims.

STATUTORY BAD FAITH CLAIM NOT SUPPORTED BY FACTS

The statutory bad faith claim was not supported by any “factual content” in the complaint. Plaintiff only pleaded “conclusory statements that [the insurer] unreasonably withheld the payment of underinsured motorist benefits under the policy, failed to make a reasonable offer of settlement, presented a low offer of settlement, failed to engage in good faith negotiations, presented an offer of less than the amount due in an attempt to compel him to institute litigation, and failed to perform an adequate investigation of the value of his claim for underinsured motorist benefits.”

The court addressed the implied argument that a large discrepancy between demand and offer standing alone is sufficient to state a bad faith claim, even without pleading any other supporting facts as to why the insurer’s offer was unreasonable and made in reckless disregard of a benefit due. The court disagreed.  In rejecting this notion, the court made two key points: (1) “a disagreement over the settlement amount is not unusual[,]” and (2) “failure to immediately accede to a demand for the policy limit cannot, without more, amount to bad faith.”

Dismissal was without prejudice, with leave to file an amended complaint.

COMMON LAW BAD FAITH/BREACH OF DUTY OF GOOD FAITH AND FAIR DEALING CLAIMS ARE NOT A SEPARATE CAUSE OF ACTION IF BREACH OF CONTRACT IS PLEADED

The court found the common law bad faith claim subsumed in the breach of contract claim, and dismissed it with prejudice.

UNFAIR TRADE PRACTICES CLAIM NOT PLAUSIBLE

As to the UTPCPL claim, the court refused to dismiss on the basis of the economic loss doctrine. However, it did dismiss the UTPCPL count for failing to set out a plausible claim.

Plaintiff failed to allege sufficient facts to support (1) the existence of deceptive conduct, (2) justifiable reliance on any misleading conduct, or (3) damages flowing from reliance on such conduct. As with the statutory bad faith claim, however, plaintiff was given leave to re-plead this count.

[Note: This opinion does not address the line of case law holding that the UTPCPL does not apply to claims handling, as recently outlined in the Western District’s Neustein case.]

Date of Decision: February 7, 2019

McDonough v. State Farm Fire & Casualty Co., U. S. District Court Eastern District of Pennsylvania No. 5:18-cv-02247, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 19806 (E.D. Pa. Feb. 7, 2019) (Leeson, Jr., J.)

 

CONSUMER PROTECTION LAW STATUTE DOES NOT APPLY TO POST-POLICY CLAIM HANDLING (Western District)

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In this case, Magistrate Judge Mitchell outlines the scope of Pennsylvania’s Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law (UTPCPL) in relation to Pennsylvania’s Insurance Bad Faith Statute. Citing prior case law, he makes clear that UTPCPL claims only address an insurer’s conduct prior to entering the insurance agreement, while Statutory Bad Faith suits focus on claim handling under the policy, i.e., post policy conduct.

The present complaint’s UTPCPL claims fell on the wrong side of this time line. The allegations at issue only addressed post policy claim handling, not malfeasance in forming the insurance contract. Thus, the UTPCPL claims could not stand under Magistrate Judge Mitchell’s analysis. District Court Judge Schwab agreed. He entered an order adopting the magistrate’s report and recommendation, and dismissed the UTPCPL count.

Dates of Decision: November 29, 2018 (Report and Recommendation), December 17, 2018 (District Court Order Adopting Report and Recommendation)

Neustein v. Gov’t Emples. Ins. Co., U.S. District Court Western District of Pennsylvania Civil Action No. 18-cv-645, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 203439 (W.D. Pa. Nov. 29, 2018) (Mitchell, M.J.) (Report and Recommendation), adopted by District Court (Dec. 17, 2018)

JANUARY 2018 BAD FAITH CASES: INSURER’S EMPLOYEES NOT SUBJECT TO BAD FAITH OR BREACH OF INSURANCE CONTRACT CLAIMS; INSURER CANNOT BE LIABLE UNDER UTPCPL FOR FAILURE TO PAY BENEFITS (Philadelphia Federal)

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Plaintiff is the beneficiary to two life insurance policies issued to her late husband. After the insured’s death, the insurer issued a check to the plaintiff, made payments to a funeral home, and withheld funds for purportedly outstanding debt. The plaintiff argues that the insurer owes her at least $70,000 in additional benefits under the two policies. After the insurer refused to pay further benefits, the plaintiff sued the insurer and three of its employees for breach of contract, violations of Pennsylvania’s Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law (“UTPCPL”), and bad faith.

The action was removed to federal court, and the insurer and two of the employees argue that plaintiff fraudulently joined various non-diverse defendants to evade federal jurisdiction. The plaintiff moved to remand the action back to state court for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction, and the insurer moved to dismiss the UTPCPL claim per Rule 12(b)(6).

The Court first addressed the fraudulent joinder issue. The Court stated, “if there is a possibility that a state court could find that the complaint states a cause of action against any one of the non-diverse defendants, remand is necessary.” It held that none of the plaintiff’s claims could succeed against any of the non-diverse defendants.

There can be no breach of contract claim against the non-diverse defendants because the plaintiff only alleges a contract with the insurer, not its employees. No UTPCPL claim exists against the non-diverse employee defendants because the complaint contains no allegations of deceptive conduct committed by them. Lastly, regarding the bad faith claim, the non-diverse employee defendants are not “insurers” within the meaning of Pennsylvania’s bad faith statute. The Court thus denied the plaintiff’s motion to remand, dismissed the claims without prejudice against the non-diverse defendants, and retained jurisdiction to hear the insurer’s 12(b)(6) motion.

“As a matter of law, an insured may not bring a UTPCPL claim based on an insurer’s failure to pay a claim.” The complaint essentially alleged that the insurer did not pay benefits in an amount owed to the plaintiff. Because this allegation is not proper to allege a UTPCPL violation, the Court granted the insurer’s motion to dismiss the UTPCPL claim while giving the plaintiff leave to amend.

Date of Decision: January 16, 2018

Filippello v. Transamerica Premier Life Ins. Co., No. 17-5743, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 6980 (E.D. Pa. Jan. 16, 2018) (Beetlestone, J.)

AUGUST 2017 BAD FAITH CASES: NO BAD FAITH WHERE THE INSURED OBFUSCATED THE CLAIMS HANDLING PROCESS AND REFUSED TO COOPERATE WITH INSURER (Philadelphia Federal)

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This 95-page opinion granting the insurer summary judgment provides an extremely detailed review of the facts, and considerable exposition of bad faith case law concerning investigation and claims handling.

As set forth in the Opinion, the insured owned multiple rental properties that she leased out to college students. Beginning in 2005, she purchased landlord property insurance policies from the insurer. In 2014, tenants moved into the properties and alerted township police to deplorable conditions.

The police report catalogued broken windows, buckled hardwood floors, water damage, ceiling damage, removed and damaged fixtures and doors, detached ceiling lights and smoke alarms, peeling paint, an overgrown lawn, broken appliances, trash, and mice droppings. The tenants then broke their leases, citing a breach of the implied warranty of habitability.

A township code official inspected and photographed the properties and prepared a list of code violations. The official posted violation notices, and revoked the insured’s student rental licenses. The insured notified both the insurer and her insurance broker, and made a claim for the property damage and lost rent.

The insurer mistakenly filed the insured’s communication in a preexisting file related to another claim with the same insured. However, an employee of the insurance broker immediately called the insured to request more facts relevant to the claim. The insured did not pick up the call and did not return the voicemail.

The township later brought a code violation action against the insured in the Court of Common Pleas, as well as for the insured’s failure to allow mandated property inspections over several years. The insured then reached out to the insurer, and repeatedly claimed that her earlier communications went unanswered.

The insured’s story changed, however, after the insurer produced evidence of phone calls and emails from claims adjusters. The insured conceded that she did in fact speak to someone, but she only “sort of” recalled the conversation.

Even after the rental license revocations, the insured again rented properties to two other college students. Similar physical problems arose, and the new tenants were likewise unable to reside at the properties. The township locked the insured out of the properties.

Throughout this period, the insurer’s claims handlers continually attempted to communicate with the insured to gather more facts concerning the insured’s claim. The insured received an email stating “‘it is imperative that I make voice to voice contact with you to get accurate loss facts regarding the claim that you submitted’ since ‘the claims process is reliant on the information that is shared between ‘you’ the insured and ‘me’ the claims adjuster.’”

Several days after the insured received that email, the adjuster had a telephone call with the insured, but the insured said she could not speak with the adjuster due to ongoing litigation. The insured then hung up the phone.

The insurer took the position that the policy did not provide coverage for property damage, lost rents or the township’s suit against the insured.

The insured sued the insurer for breach of contract, bad faith, and alleged violations of Pennsylvania’s Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law (“UTPCPL”). The Court granted the insurer’s motion for summary judgment on the breach of contract claim, stating that the insurance policies were not “all risk” policies whereby coverage is automatically triggered in the event of loss.

Furthermore, the insured failed to show that the losses occurred suddenly and accidentally, and the insured had no reasonable expectation of coverage. The court also found that the insurer had no duty to defend the insured in the state court action. Additionally, the court granted the insurer summary judgment on the UTPCPL claim, finding no fraud or misrepresentations to the insured with regard to the policies.

As to the bad faith claim, the insured alleged that the insurer intentionally delayed opening a claim, delayed commencing its investigation, and that it lacked a reasonable basis for refusing to pay the insured benefits under the policies.

The Court found that there existed no clear and convincing evidence that the insurer acted in bad faith. The Court stated that “the record makes clear that [the insurer’s] delays are attributable to mistake, possible confusion between [the insurer] and [the broker,] and [the insured’s] obfuscation and refusal to cooperate with [the claims] representatives.”

The Court further opined that the bad faith claim must fail because the evidence shows the insurer conducted an adequate investigation and had a reasonable basis for denying coverage. Any delays on the part of the insurer were attributable to the insured’s “repeated failures to provide the information necessary to open a claim….”

The Court granted the insurer’s motion for summary judgment in its entirety.

Date of Decision: April 6, 2017

Doherty v. Allstate Indem. Co., No. 15-05165, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 52795 (E.D. Pa. April 6, 2017) (Pappert, J.)

This decision was affirmed on appeal.

Doherty v. Allstate Indem. Co., U. S. Court of Appeals Third Circuit No. 17-1860, 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 13900 (3d Cir. May 25, 2018) (Fuentes, Greenaway, Rendell, JJ.)

 

APRIL 2017 BAD FAITH CASES: CONSUMER PROTECTION LAW VIOLATIONS MAY BE EVIDENCE IN BAD FAITH CASES (Middle District)

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The insured brought a consumer protection law claim for allegedly abusive claims handling practices and denial of her insurance claim. The court observed that in the insurance context, Pennsylvania’s Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law (UTPCPL) “applies only to conduct related to the sale of an insurance policy, not to the handling of insurance claims.” However, in a footnote, the court added that in Berg v. Nationwide Mut. Ins. Co., Inc., 44 A.3d 1164 (Pa. Super. Ct. 2012), the Superior Court dealt with whether a UTPCPL violation is evidence of statutory bad faith under. Under that case, while the UTPCPL did “not provide for a separate cause of action for a UTPCPL violation, … such violation may constitute evidence to support a bad faith cause of action.”

Date of Decision: April 7, 2017

Machado v. Safeco Ins. Co., No. 16cv1685, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 53604 (M.D. Pa. Apr. 7, 2017) (Munley, J.)

MARCH 2017 BAD FAITH CASES: BAD FAITH LAW NOT APPLICABLE TO CONDUCT RELATING TO SALE OF AN INSURANCE POLICY (Philadelphia Federal)

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In this case, the court observed the distinction between applicable legal theories addressing conduct before and after an insurance policy is issued. The court observed that pre-sale conduct, if actionable, is subject to Pennsylvania’s Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law, not its Bad Faith Statute.

Date of Decision: March 7, 2017

Romero v. Allstate, No. 16-4037, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 31965 (E.D. Pa. Mar. 7, 2017) (Schmehl, J.)

NOVEMBER 2016 BAD FAITH CASES: CLAIMS HANDLING CONDUCT IS SUBJECT OF BAD FAITH STATUTE, NOT CONSUMER PROTECTION LAW (Philadelphia Federal)

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This federal district court was faced with virtually identical claims for the same conduct, one alleging violation of Pennsylvania’s Bad Faith Statute, and the other a violation of Pennsylvania’s Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law (UTPCPL). Following Pennsylvania Supreme Court precedent, the court concluded that the bad faith statute was aimed at claims handling, not how an insurer solicited an insured to purchase insurance; and that deceptive practices in selling insurance were subject to the UTPCPL. As the complaint’s allegations were actually focused on claims handling, the UTPCPL claim was dismissed with leave to re-plead facts addressing solicitation of the policy (if such existed).

Date of Decision: September 27, 2016

Doherty v. Allstate Indemnity Company, No. 15-5165, 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 132027 (E.D. Pa. Sept. 27, 2016) (Pappert, J.)