NOVEMBER 2007 BAD FAITH CASES NO BAD FAITH CLAIM SUSTAINABLE WHEN NO DUTY TO DEFEND OR COVER EXISTS (Western District)

  

In Gardner v. State Farm Fire & Cas. Co., the underlying plaintiff brought claims against the carrier, based upon an assignment from the insured.  Plaintiff was injured in front of the home rented to her by the insured.  The court upheld a rental exclusion as unambiguous in denying the breach of contract claim.  Thus, as there was no underlying basis to require defense and coverage, there could be no bad faith. Plaintiff had apparently attempted to argue bad faith during the investigation because the adjuster had no experience with an exception to the exclusion and did not ask for a legal opinion.  The court did not analyze this.

Date of Decision:  June 12, 2007

Gardner v. State Farm Fire & Cas. Co., 05-1055, 2007 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 42471 (W.D. Pa. June 12, 2007) (Lancaster, J.)

L.A.