PENNSYLVANIA SENATE BILL 746 PROPOSES STATUTORY CHANGE TO PERMIT JURIES TO HEAR BAD FAITH CASES

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Under current Pennsylvania Supreme Court interpretation of Pennsylvania’s Bad Faith Statute, 42 Pa.C.S. § 8371, only a judge can hear a statutory bad faith claim.  This stands in contrast to Pennsylvania’s federal courts, where juries can hear statutory bad faith cases because of federal constitutional requirements.  Pennsylvania Senate Bill 746, now pending, would alter the language of the statute so that judges or juries could here bad faith claims in state courts.  The change involves substituting the phrase “trier of fact” for “court” in the statute.  There is a vigorous debate between the plaintiffs and defense bars on the proposed change.

 

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