FEBRUARY 2006 BAD FAITH CASES STATE TRIAL COURT GRANTS MOTION TO COMPEL MOST OF INSURED’S DISCOVERY REQUESTS IN UIM BASED BAD FAITH ACTION (Blair)
The Court of Common Pleas of Blair County addressed numerous issues on the insured’s motion to compel discovery responses against the carrier in a bad faith action involving underinsured motorist claims.
The Court ordered that the following had to be produced in discovery by the carrier:
(1) the identity of the specific documents that were responsive to interrogatories, by bates number, where over 3,500 pages of documents were produced;
(2) information concerning attempts to settle the underlying claim, though the carrier did not have to show settlement offers were in the insured’s best interest;
(3) company policy relating to the use of information about unrelated claims involving the insured;
(4) the identity of other bad faith cases involving the carrier’s handling of underinsured motorist claims in Pennsylvania and “the Third Circuit Court of Appeals”, which issue was analyzed under the Supreme Court’s precedent on punitive damages in State Farm Mutual Auto. Ins. Co. v. Campbell, 538 U.S. 408 (2003);
(5) the existence of any policy designed to protect the privacy of the insured’s medical records during the claims handling for underinsured motorist claims;
(6) documents regarding “roundtable” proceedings;
(7) documents respecting costs the carrier expended relating to the underinsured motorist claim and the insurance policy; and
(8) post-settlement conduct information within limits defined by Superior Court of Pennsylvania.
Date of decision: February 9, 2006
Rhodes v. USAA Casualty Ins. Co., Court of Common Pleas of Blair County, No. 2004 GN 2279 (C.C.P. Blair Feb. 9, 2006) (Doyle, J.)