AUGUST 2006 BAD FAITH CASES COURT DENIES PLAINTIFF’S MOTION FOR REMAND ON BASIS OF JURISDICTIONAL AMOUNT IN LIGHT OF PUNITIVE DAMAGES CLAIM (Middle District)
The Court considered two motions filed by the parties: the insured’s Motion for Remand alleging that the jurisdictional amount in controversy had not been met; and the insurance carrier’s Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff’s breach of contract and bad faith claims. The Court denied both Motions.
Originally, Plaintiff filed a Complaint in Luzerne County asserting breach of contract and bad faith claims stemming from Nationwide’s handling of her underinsured motorist claims. Nationwide removed the case and Plaintiff filed a Motion to Remand. In opposing the Motion to Remand, Nationwide argued that the amount in controversy was satisfied because Plaintiff had requested punitive damages.
The Court agreed and, in denying Plaintiff’s Motion for Remand, opined that “a request for punitive damages will generally satisfy the amount in controversy requirement because it cannot be stated to a legal certainty that the value of plaintiff’s claim is below the statutory minimum.”
Date of Decision: August 2, 2006
Javorski v. Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company, United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, No.: 3:06-CV-1071, 2006 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 53480 (M.D.Pa. Aug. 2, 2006) (Conaboy, J.)