MAY 2015 BAD FAITH CASES: REMOVAL UNTIMELY EVEN AFTER PLAINTIFF SOUGHT TO AMEND COMPLAINT TO ADD A BAD FAITH CLAIM, TWO WEEKS PRIOR TO ONE YEAR REMOVAL PERIOD EXPIRING (Philadelphia Federal)

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In Lare v. State Farm Fire & Casualty Company, the federal court remanded this breach of contract and bad faith action on the basis that the removal was filed more than one year after the original suit was filed.

The insured brought a breach of insurance contract claim, seeking less than $50,000, in the Court of Common Pleas.  The case went to mandatory arbitration, and there was an award of over $30,000 in the insured’s favor.  The insurer appealed, seeking a trial de novo.  The insured retained counsel and moved to amend the complaint to add a bad faith claim, chiefly focusing on bad faith conduct in perpetuating the litigation.

The motion to amend was filed two weeks before the one year removal period ran; but the insurer did not seek removal until after the one year period ran.  Under these circumstances, the court would not exercise its discretion to allow removal beyond the one year period, and the case was remanded.

Date of Decision:  April 21, 2015 (Report and Recommendation), adopted by District Court on May 6, 2015

Lare v. State Farm Fire & Cas. Co., CIVIL ACTION NO. 15-1231, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 59898 (E.D. PA. April 21, 2015) (Rueter, M.J.), adopted, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 59129 (E.D. Pa. May 6, 2015) (Robreno, J.)

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