The underlying plaintiff brought claims against the carrier, based upon an assignment from the insured. Plaintiff was injured in front of the home rented to her by the insured. The court upheld a rental exclusion as unambiguous in denying the breach of contract claim. Thus, as there was no underlying basis to require defense and coverage, there could be no bad faith. Plaintiff had apparently attempted to argue bad faith during the investigation because the adjuster had no experience with an exception to the exclusion and did not ask for a legal opinion. The court did not analyze this.
Date of Decision: June 12, 2007
Gardner v. State Farm Fire & Cas. Co., 05-1055, 2007 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 42471 (W.D. Pa. June 12, 2007) (Lancaster, J.)
This decision was affirmed at
Gardner v. State Farm Fire & Cas. Co., No. 07-3051, 2008 U.S. App. LEXIS 15560 (3d Cir. Pa. July 22,2008)(Padova, J., sitting by designation).