SEPTEMBER 2013 BAD FAITH CASES: PLAINTIFF’S CLASS ACTION DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE FOR FAILURE TO STATE A CLAIM; MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION DENIED (Middle District)

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Plaintiff’s Motion for Reconsideration of the Memorandum and Order dismissing her First Amended Class Action Complaint was denied. Plaintiff brought suit asserting claims of breach of contract, violation of the Unfair Trade practices and Consumer Protection Law, unjust enrichment, and statutory bad faith on behalf of herself and similarly situated individuals. Plaintiff’s allegations related to her claim that she purchased automobile insurance for her antique and classic vehicles from the insurer which were purported to provide stacked uninsured and underinsured coverage while the policies actually only provided unstacked coverage. The insurer filed a motion to dismiss, and the District Court judge granted the motion finding no breach of contract because the policy did not provide for stacking, no violations of the UTPCPL, and no unjust enrichment because the policy was valid. The bad faith claim was dismissed for failure to state a claim because it “was not related to Foremost’s performance of its contractual obligations of defense and indemnification or payment of a loss,” as required by the statute.

Plaintiff filed a Motion for Reconsideration seeking reconsideration of the case law the court applied, as well as the dismissal of her UTPCPL and statutory bad faith claims. The court quickly refused reconsideration of the UTPCPL and statutory bad faith claims as plaintiff merely restated her previous arguments, failing to meet the requirements for reconsideration.

The court denied the motion for reconsideration because granting plaintiff’s motion and its attempt to make a new argument, despite plaintiff’s previous opportunity to address the argument raised by the insurer via a response to the insurer on the initial motion, would have given plaintiff an improper “second bite at the apple.” The court further found even if it granted the motion for reconsideration, plaintiff had failed to demonstrate that relying on the disputed case law was a clear error of law.

Date of Decision:  July 1, 2013

Grudkowski v. Foremost Ins. Co., No. 3:CV-12-1847, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 91848 (M.D.Pa. July 1, 2013) (Caputo, J.).

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