JULY 2016 BAD FAITH CASES: EVEN A PITHY COMPLAINT CAN STATE A PLAUSIBLE CLAIM WHERE INSURER ALLEGEDLY MADE NO OFFER IN RESPONSE TO ALLEGEDLY COVERED LOSSES (Middle District)

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Turner v. State Farm Fire & Casualty Company was a first party fire loss case. The insurer moved to dismiss a bad faith count under Twombly/Iqbal, which the court denied. The court found the complaint, which was neither lengthy nor highly detailed, was still adequately pleaded.

The insureds alleged the property was insured for contents coverage and other miscellaneous coverages in the amount of $159,060.00. The complaint alleged that despite repeated demands, the carrier refused to make any payment on claims subject to these coverages. The court stated: “Common sense does suggest that the items of personalty in the Plaintiffs’ damaged residence almost necessarily had some value. Because we are told that [the insurer] had offered nothing at the time the suit was filed, we are asked to assume that [the insurer’s] refusal to remit any amount in recognition of these claims is enough to establish that this complaint states a bad faith claim….” The insureds also alleged they documented the value of their claim through the report of a public adjuster, which was furnished to the insurer; and that despite being advised of the extent of the losses, the insurer made no offer to compensate the allegedly covered losses.

This was sufficient to meet the Twombly plausibility standard.

Date of Decision: January 14, 2016

Turner v. State Farm Fire & Cas. Co., Case No. 15-CV-906, 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 4825 (M.D. Pa. January 14, 2016) (Conaboy, J.)

 

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