Established 1958 ~ Hardball Business Litigation & Complex Negotiations

Philaelphia Business Lawyers: Bad Faith

Punitive damages and attorneys’ fees may be awarded for Bad Faith claims in Pennsylvania. An insurance company acts in bad faith when it does not have a reasonable basis for denying benefits under an insured’s policy and the insurance company knows or recklessly disregards its lack of a reasonable basis in denying the claim. MGA Ins. Co. v. Bakos, 699 A.2d 751, 754 (Pa. Super. Ct. 1997). Additionally, the court may award interest on the amount of the claim from the date in which the claim was made in an amount equal to the prime rate of interest plus 3%. Id.

In Bonenberger v. Nationwide Mut. Ins. Co., 791 A.2d 378, 379 (Pa. Super. 2002), the Court held that Nationwide acted in bad faith by failing to adequately evaluate Plaintiff’s injuries after a car crash. The Superior Court upheld the Trial Court’s findings that Nationwide “disregarded Plaintiff’s medical records, conducted no independent medical examination, and made no reasonable evaluation based on Plaintiff’s presentment.” For these reasons, the Superior Court affirmed the lower court’s awards for punitive damages and attorneys’ fees.

Philadelphia trial lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green represent clients throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Call 215-574-0600 to schedule a consultation or submit an online contact form.