JULY 2006 BAD FAITH CASES DISCOVERY OF OTHER CLAIMS DENIED BASED UPON RELEVANCE (Middle District)

In Psonak v. Peoples Benefit Life Insurance Company, the United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania denied Plaintiff’s request to compel the production of information and documents from the carrier.  Specifically, Plaintiff requested documents and information regarding lawsuits and claims under unrelated insurance policies, claiming that such discovery was relevant to Plaintiff’s bad faith claims.  Following a conference with the parties, the Court found that Plaintiff had not demonstrated the relevance of the requested information and documents, and that the request was overly broad and burdensome.  The Court cited a number of cases on the points of relevance, and overly broad and unduly burdensome requests:  McCrink v. Peoples Benefit Life Ins. Co., No. 04-cv-1068 (E.D. Pa. Nov. 29, 2004) ; Cantor v. Equitable Life Assurance Soc’y, No. 97-5711, 1998 WL 306208 (E.D. Pa. June 9, 1998); Hyde Athletic Indus., Inc. v. Cont’l Cas. Co., 969 F. Supp. 289 (E.D. Pa. 1997); Zimmerman v. Harleysville Mut. Ins. Co., 860 A.2d 167 (Pa. Super. Ct. 2004).
Date of decision:  July 21, 2006
Psonak v. Peoples Ben. Life Ins. Co., United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, No. 06-CV-0420, 2006 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 49893 (M.D. Pa. 2006) (Conner, J.).
And see Recent Developments and Trends in Insurance Bad Faith Litigation, in “Links of Note” on this site, discussing cases from January 1, 2003 through July 2005, including McCrink and Zimmerman.