JANUARY 2007 BAD FAITH CASES BAD FAITH SUIT TRANSFERRED FROM PENNSYLVANIA FEDERAL COURT TO VIRGINIA FEDERAL COURT AFTER BALANCING FACTS (Philadelphia Federal)

    

In Resource Bank v. Progressive Casualty Insurance Company, the carrier had issued a D & O policy to plaintiff.  Plaintiff was seeking coverage for class actions in Missouri and Indiana based on fax blasting claims.  There was a tentative settlement, but a denial of coverage resulting in a declaratory judgment and bad faith claim.  The carrier moved to transfer venue to Virginia, from the U. S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.  This was something of a twist as plaintiff was headquartered in Virginia, was suing under Virginia’s bad faith statute, neither party was from Pennsylvania, plaintiff had filed a similar suit against another carrier in Virginia, and the policy was issued in Virginia, among other things.  Although a plaintiff’s choice of forum carries considerable weight, this is less so where the plaintiff does not make that state its home and where the transaction or occurrence underlying the action did not occur in that state.  Taking into consideration these and other factors, the interests of justice and judicial economy favored transfer.

Date of Decision:  January 11, 2007

Resource Bank v. Progressive Casualty Insurance Company, United States for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, No. 06-1699, 2007 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 2980 (E.D. Pa. Jan. 11, 2007) (Kauffman, J.)