SEPTEMBER 2012 BAD FAITH CASES: COURT RULES THAT COORDINATED BAD FAITH AND COVERAGE ACTIONS SHOULD REMAIN IN LOCALITY OF UNDERLYING PERSONAL INJURY (Philadelphia Commerce Court)

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In Pennsylvania Manufacturers Association Ins. Co. v. Pennsylvania State University, the trial court issued an opinion in support of its order granting an insurer’s motion to coordinate (1) a coverage case the insurer had filed and (2) a bad faith claim filed by insured. The court agreed to transfer the coordinated cases to be litigated in Philadelphia as opposed to Centre County, Pennsylvania.

After the parties filed their respective actions, they agreed that coordination was appropriate. However, the insured argued that the coordinated cases should be kept in Centre County. Under Pa.R.C.P. No. 213.1(c), the court reasoned that the first action was filed in Philadelphia, the underlying personal injury action was in Philadelphia and that Philadelphia was a more convenient location for the insurer, all attorneys and many witnesses. Moreover, the court opined, the Commerce Court of Philadelphia is a specialized program established to handle these types of cases.

Therefore, the court found that Philadelphia had the ability “to provide a fair and efficient method of adjudicating the controversy.”

Date of Decision: August 7, 2012

Pennsylvania Manufacturers Association Ins. Co. v. Pennsylvania State Univ, No. 4126, 2012 Phila. Ct. Com. Pl. LEXIS 249, Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas (C.C.P. Aug. 7, 2012) (New, J.)

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