OCTOBER 2017 BAD FAITH CASES: AN INSURED MUST “SHOW” ITS ENTITLEMENT TO RELIEF FOR BAD FAITH WITH FACTS (Philadelphia Federal)

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In this UIM action, the insured sustained serious and permanent injuries. After recovering $15,000 from the underinsured tortfeasor’s insurer, the instant insurer offered the insured $500 for his UIM claim. The insured rejected this offer, and sued for bad faith and breach of contract. The insurer moved to dismiss the bad faith claim. In its complaint, the insured enumerated several allegations of the insurer’s bad faith conduct. The insured alleges the insurer acted unreasonably and unfairly, failed to advance a reason for its denial of the full value of the claim, intentionally and/or recklessly disregarded the insured’s injuries, and refused to pay benefits owed under the policy.

The Court stated “[a] complaint must do more than allege a plaintiff’s entitlement to relief, it must ‘show’ such an entitlement with its facts.” The Court held that the undisputed facts only show a disagreement between the parties to negotiate and settle the UIM claim. Furthermore, “[t]hese facts do not show that [the insured] has a plausible claim for bad faith because they do not shed light on the reasonableness of [the insurer’s] actions.”

The Court reasoned that the insured’s allegations are merely conclusory and are thus insufficient to state a claim for bad faith. The Court then dismissed the bad faith claim, but gave the insured twenty days leave to amend its complaint.

Date of Decision: October 4, 2017

Irving v. State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co., No. 17-1124, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 164390 (E.D. Pa. Oct. 4, 2017) (Slomsky, J.)

 

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