FEBRUARY 2007 BAD FAITH CASES BAD FAITH CLAIM PREEMPTED BY ERISA (Philadelphia Federal)

 

In Viechnicki v. Unumprovident Corp. plaintiff brought suit as the beneficiary of a disability insurance policy against an insurance company due to the termination of coverage.  The insurance carrier filed a motion to dismiss asserting that all of plaintiff’s claims, including plaintiff’s bad faith claim, were preempted by ERISA.  After finding that plaintiff’s claims were preempted by ERISA, the Court held that although plaintiff’s bad faith claim arises under a state statute which is directed at insurers, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals has held Pennsylvania’s bad faith statute was preempted by ERISA as well.  Accordingly, plaintiff’s bad faith claim was dismissed and plaintiff was given leave of Court to refile an Amended Complaint asserting a claim under ERISA.

Viechnicki v. Unumprovident Corp., United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, No. 06-2460, 2007 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 8959 (E.D. Pa. Feb. 8, 2007) (Stengel, J.)