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April 2009 Bad Faith Cases Bad Faith Claim Dismissed Because Policy Is Covered Under Erisa (Philadelphia Federal)

In Martellacci v. The Guardian Life Insurance Company, in relevant part, the court granted dismissal of the bad faith claim because: 1) it relates to a disability policy that the court previously determined is covered under ERISA; 2) state laws that relate to ERISA-covered employee benefit plans are pre-empted by ERISA; and 3) the Third Circuit has previously ruled that bad faith claims, specifically, are pre-empted.
The court noted, in dicta, that it interpreted the claim of “bad faith/negligence” as a statutory bad faith claim in order to analyze it in a light most favorable to the non-moving party/insured, who was acting pro se.
Date of Decision:  February 19, 2009
Martellacci v. Guardian Life Ins. Co., CIVIL ACTION No. 08-2541, 2009 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 13773 (E.D. Pa. Feb. 20, 2009)(Rufe, J.)