FEBRUARY 2013 BAD FAITH CASES: COURT SEVERS UIM AND BAD FAITH CLAIMS, BUT REFUSES TO GRANT STAY OF BAD FAITH ACTION UNTIL UIM CLAIM WAS RESOLVED (Monroe County Court of Common Pleas)

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In Orsulak v. Windish, an insurance carrier moved to sever an insured’s underinsured motorist (“UIM”) claims from the accompanying breach of contract and bad faith claims. The court granted the motion for severance, splitting the UIM claim from the insured’s allegations of bad faith and breach of contract.

The court granted the carrier’s request to sever the insured’s UIM claim from its bad faith action because evidence used in the bad faith claim would likely confuse and prejudice a jury in the UIM case. However, the court denied the carrier’s motion to stay all bad faith proceedings until the UIM claim was resolved, reasoning that the potential mootness of the bad faith claim did not warrant a blanket stay on that aspect of the insured’s suit.

Date of Decision: January 14, 2013

Orsulak v. Windish, No. 55-CIVIL-2011, Monroe County Court of Common Pleas (Monroe Cty. Jan. 14, 2013) (Williamson, J.)

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