SEPTEMBER 2011 BAD FAITH CASES COURT REQUIRES COMMON LAW BAD FAITH CLAIM TO BE PLEADED AS PART OF BREACH OF CONTRACT CLAIM (Western District)

In Cicco v. State Farm Fire & Casualty Co., the court ruled upon a partial motion to dismiss by the carrier, which claimed that two counts of the insured’s three-count bad faith claim were redundant.  The insured originally sued the carrier for breach of contract, contractual bad faith, and statutory bad faith under Pennsylvania law.  The carrier moved to dismiss, claiming that the insured’s second allegation is redundant in light of the first count for breach of contract.  The insured refused to concede to the redundancy of its complaint, but indicated a willingness to merge its two bad faith claims into one.

The court found that the insured’s second claim was redundant because it contained, verbatim, the same allegations set forth in counts one and three.  Therefore, the court held that, because the insured adequately pled a breach of contract cause of action in count one, and that the allegations set forth in count three adequately raise a statutory bad faith claim, count two of the insured’s complaint was redundant.

Accordingly, the court denied the carrier’s motion to dismiss count three and gave the insured time to amend counts one and two of its complaint to properly incorporate its allegations and factual averments into an amended complaint.

Date of Decision:  September 2, 2011

CICCO v. STATE FARM FIRE & CASUALTY CO., No. 11cv0946, U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania, 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 99161, (W.D. Pa. Sept. 2, 2011) (Schwab, J.)