MARCH 2007 BAD FAITH CASES DEFENDANTS MUST BE INSURERS TO BE SUED PURSUANT TO PENNSYLVANIA’S BAD FAITH STATUTE (Philadelphia)

    

In Deborah Jordan v. SEPTA, et. al., Plaintiff, an injured SEPTA employee, brought a claim against SEPTA, the administrator for SEPTA’s worker’s compensation benefits, the attorneys for SEPTA in the worker’s compensation matter and two employees of the attorneys after SEPTA contested Plaintiff’s worker’s compensation claim.  Plaintiff’s complaint alleged bad faith, civil conspiracy/defamation, misrepresentation and punitive damages.  Defendants filed preliminary objections to Plaintiff’s complaint which were  granted by the Court of Common Pleas and the complaint was dismissed with prejudice.  Plaintiff appealed the Order of the Common Pleas Court dismissing the complaint.  In the written opinion issued by the Court of Common Pleas supporting its Order dismissing Plaintiff’s complaint, the Court held that because none of the Defendants were insurers, Plaintiff has no right to relief pursuant to Pennsylvania’s bad faith statute.  In order to be an insurer, an entity must be licensed as an insurer, do business as an insurer, issue insurance policies, collect premiums, or agree to accept the liability of others in exchange for consideration.  Because none of the defendants are insurers pursuant to this definition, Plaintiff’s claims under Pennsylvania’s Bad Faith Statute were properly dismissed.

Date of Decision:  February 21, 2007

Deborah Jordan v. SEPTA, et al., Common Pleas Court of Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania Trial Division, No. 1102, 2007 Phila. Ct. Com. Pl. LEXIS 60 (C.C.P. Philadelphia Feb. 21, 2007)(Glazer, J.)