Lori Miller again obtained a dismissal of a Plaintiff’s bad faith claim in the initial pleadings stage of litigation, this time before Judge Mark Kearney of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
Plaintiff was a full tort 21-year-old college student traveling through an intersection in Montgomery County when the underinsured motorist ran a red light colliding with Plaintiff. Plaintiff complained of pain at the scene. Plaintiff treated with her family physician and attended over the thirty sessions of physical therapy. Plaintiff made a claim with her insurer for uninsured motorist benefits. After rejecting her insurer’s initial offer, Plaintiff filed suit for breach of contract and statutory bad faith alleging a generic list of conclusive allegations that she claimed constituted bad faith. Plaintiff also alleged that the insurer knowingly made an inadequate offer and was playing a “cat and mouse game” with its insured.
Defense counsel filed a motion to dismiss, pointing out that Plaintiff’s allegations were conclusory boilerplate allegations of bad faith that were not supported by any factual pleadings. Further, Defense counsel argued that there mere allegation that an offer was “inadequate” does not support a claim a bad faith under Pennsylvania law.
Agreeing with defense counsel, the Court ruled that the facts pled did not set a plausible claim for bad faith. The Court stated that the insured must “plead more than her insurer did not offer her all she requested.” The Court went on to say that Plaintiff cannot bring a claim for bad faith as a negotiating tactic and must plead specific facts, not mere conclusions.