June 2016 Bad Faith Cases: UIM Bad Faith Claim Inadequately Pleaded and Dismissed with Prejudice (Philadelphia Federal)

In Kiss v. State Farm Insurance Company, the District addressed a UIM bad faith claim. The court found the pleadings inadequate under Twombly/Iqbal, and stated as follows:

“In essence, plaintiff’s factual averments are that (1) plaintiffs are insured by defendant for underinsured motorist coverage; (2) the husband plaintiff was involved in a motor vehicle accident; (3) plaintiffs submitted medical records to defendant; (4) plaintiffs made a demand for payment of the underinsured motorist limits; and (5) plaintiffs did not agree with defendant’s valuation of the claim.”

“Plaintiff’s boilerplate allegations assert that defendant lacked a reasonable basis for denying plaintiffs’ claim for benefits, but do not provide any factual allegations from which the Court could make a plausible inference that defendant knew or recklessly disregarded its lack of a reasonable basis for denying benefits. …. Indeed, it is undisputed that the defendant in this case actually paid the underinsured motorist benefits pursuant to an arbitration award. While such assertions perhaps suggest that a bad faith claim is possible, they do not allow for any non-speculative inference that a finding of bad faith is plausible. …. The Rule 12(b)(6) standards, as interpreted by Twombly and Iqbal, require more.”

Unlike a number of other cases that failed the Twombly/Iqbal standards, this case was dismissed with prejudice.

Date of Decision: May 16, 2016

Kiss v. State Farm Ins. Co., 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 64572 (E.D. Pa. May 16, 2016) (Schmehl, J.)

IMG_0242

Photo by S. A. Applebaum