PHILADELPHIA’S COMMERCE CASE MANAGEMENT PROGRAM -- BAD FAITH CASE SNAPSHOT, OCTOBER 2008

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In 2000, the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas established the Commerce Case Management Program, as a specialized track within its civil division.  Known as the “Commerce Court,” it was created to hear business to business disputes, at a time when litigants and lawyers had lost faith in the ability of Philadelphia’s existing judicial procedures to efficiently and knowledgeably address these kinds of disputes.  The key component was the assignment of specific judges (first two, and later three) to handle all Commerce Court cases, with each individual case being assigned to one of those specialist judges from beginning to end.

The Philadelphia Commerce Court’s jurisdiction is set out in a detailed list of specifically defined categories of cases.  Bad faith insurance disputes between insured businesses and their carriers, or between insurers, fall within that jurisdiction.

Since its inception, insurance related disputes have constituted one of the largest segments of cases heard in the Commerce Court.  The following is a list, with links to opinions and the date of decision, of some Commerce Court opinions issued on insurance bad faith issues:

Erie Insurance Exchange v. Sze (August 4, 2008)

Prime Medica Associates v. Valley Forge Insurance Company  (April 26, 2007)

Koken v. Scott Specialty Gases, Inc.  (March 14, 2007)

Executive Risk Indemnity Inc. v. Cigna Corp.  (August 18, 2006)

Aetna, Inc. v. Lexington Insurance Company  (October 27, 2005)

Silverman v. Rutgers Casualty Ins. Co.(March 31, 2005)

Ferrick Construction Co. v. OneBeacon Ins. Co.  (December 27, 2004)

Resource America, Inc. v. Certain Underwriting Members of Lloyds (November 12, 2004)

26 E. Oregon Avenue L.P. v. Fidelity National Title Ins. Co. (September 18, 2004)

Staples v. Assurance Company of America (June 14, 2004)

Freedom Medical Supply, Inc. v. Nationwide Mutual Ins. Co. (April 23, 2004)

Chau v. RCA Insurance Group  (March 23, 2004)

Egger v. Gulf Ins. Co.  (March 10, 2004)

Universal Teleservices Arizona, LLC v. Zurich Ins. Co.  (March 4, 2004)

Ace American Insurance Co. v. Columbia Casualty Co.  (November 26, 2002)

M&M High, Inc. v. Essex Ins. Co.  (November 18, 2002)

TJS Brokerage & Co. v. Hartford Cas. Ins. Co.  (July 26, 2002)

Foultz v. Erie Ins. Co.  (March 13, 2002)

Pennsylvania Chiropractic Association v. Independence Blue Cross  (July 16, 2001)

United States Fire Ins. Co. v. American National Fire Ins. Co. (April 6, 2001)

Terra Equities v. First Am. Title Ins. Co.  (March 16, 2001)

Brickman Group Ltd. v. CGU Ins. Co.  (January 8, 2001)

Miltenberg & Samton, Inc. v. Assicurazioni Generali, S.p.A.  (October 10, 2000)

L.A.

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