NOVEMBER 2006 BAD FAITH CASES PLAINTIFF MUST PLEAD REQUISITE WRONGFUL STATE OF MIND TO SET FORTH AN ACTIONABLE CLAIM FOR BAD FAITH OR CLAIM WILL BE DISMISSED, AS IN THIS CASE (Middle District)

In Kojeszewski v. Infinity Insurance Company, Plaintiffs claimed, among other things, breach of contract and bad faith as a result of Defendant’s denial of benefits under an auto insurance policy.  The Complaint alleged only the basic facts, e.g., that the insureds filed an auto insurance claim and Defendant denied coverage.  The United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania looked to Pennsylvania’s bad faith statute, which specifies that in order to state a claim against an insurer for bad faith, a plaintiff must allege and set forth information indicating that the insurer: (1) did not have a reasonable basis for its actions and (2) knew or recklessly disregarded its lack of a reasonable basis for its actions.  The Court determined that in this bare bones Complaint,  Plaintiff failed to aver that Defendant possessed the requisite wrongful state of mind.  Accordingly, the Court held that Plaintiff failed to state a proper claim for the bad faith denial of insurance coverage and granted Defendant’s motion to dismiss.

Date of Decision:  October 31, 2006

Kojeszewski v. Infinity Ins. Co., United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, Civil Action No. 3:06-CV-1261, 2006 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 79306 (M. D. Pa. October 31, 2006) (Caputo, J.)