AUGUST 2011 BAD FAITH CASES THERE CAN BE NO BAD FAITH WHERE NO BENEFITS WERE DUE TO PLAINTIFF UNDER THE POLICY (Philadelphia Federal)

In Avicolli v. Government Employees Insurance Company, the court had determined that the insurance carrier had no duty to pay the plaintiff first party benefits under the insurance policy or Pennsylvania’s Motor Vehicle Financial Responsibility Law.  The plaintiff was a pedestrian and the defendants driver/owner had a New Jersey insurance policy.  That “lack of duty, in itself, constitutes a reasonable basis for denying benefits under the policy.”  Thus, there were no actionable bad faith claims, as “a suit alleging bad faith in the handling of an insurance claim is not actionable where an insured’s claim for coverage fails on its merits.”
Date of Decision: October 27, 2010

Avicolli v. Gov’t Emples. Ins. Co.,  No. 10-CV-2858, 2010 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 143526, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania (E.D. Pa. Oct. 27, 2010) (Davis, J.)