April 2013 Bad Faith Cases: Court Grants Summary Judgement To Carrier On Insured’s Bad Faith Claim, Obviating Need To Decide Choice Of Law Questions (Philadelphia Federal)

In Quinn v. Liberty Mut. Group, the court heard an insured’s bad faith claim against its automobile insurance carrier. The suit arose from a car accident with an uninsured motorist in which the insured suffered serious personal injuries. The insured sought uninsured motorist (UM) from the carrier and the parties entered arbitration. However, the carrier rejected the arbitration award and demanded a jury trial.
The insured filed suit for the carrier’s bad faith failure to pay the arbitration award. The carrier filed for summary judgment, countering that it was acting with a good faith belief that New Jersey law applied, which permitted the carrier to reject the arbitration award.
The court reasoned that it did not need to decide whether Pennsylvania or New Jersey law applied because the insured’s opposition brief was merely two-pages and failed to create a genuine issue of material fact that would prevent an award of summary judgment to the carrier.
Date of Decision: March 7, 2013
Quinn v. Liberty Mut. Group, NO. 11-5364, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 31194, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania (E.D. Pa. Mar. 7, 2013) (Bartle III, J.)