In a recent slip opinion in Leyman v. Economy Fire & Casualty Company, No. 23-3458 2023 WL 8188444 (E.D. Pa. Nov 27, 2023), the United States District Court of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania granted an insurer’s Motion to Dismiss the statutory bad faith count from an insured’s Second Amended Complaint. In doing so, the Court reaffirmed the requirement for specific, factual averments to support any allegations of bad faith.

In Leyman, the insureds sued their insurer alleging breach of contract and statutory bad faith based on their insurers denial of coverage for alleged wind and storm damages to their home. After the case was removed to federal court, the insureds amended their complaint. The insurer subsequently moved to dismiss the bad faith claim. Subsequently, the insured attempted to amend the complaint again without leave of court. Accordingly, the court struck the proposed Second Amended Complaint. The insureds responded to the insurer’s Motion to Dismiss requesting leave to amend.

The insureds alleged that the insurer acted in bad faith by: “(1) failing to conduct a proper investigation of the claimed loss… (2) disregarding and misrepresenting pertinent facts surrounding the circumstances of the claimed loss… (3) treating Plaintiffs unreasonably and unfairly… and (4) failing to promptly, fairly and equitably settle the claim.”

The Court expressly stated that similar, boilerplate allegations without supporting factual averments are routinely dismissed for being insufficient to overcome a Rule 12(b)(6) motion. Likewise, the Court determined that the insureds did not provide sufficient factual allegations in the instant case.

The Court further held that the insured’s request for leave for amend would be futile in this case considering the proposed Second Amended Complaint was nearly identical to the First Amended Complaint. The only addition to the Second Amended Complaint was a report authored by a public adjuster who mimicked the same conclusory allegations contained in the insured’s complaint.

For additional questions, please contact Scott J. Tredwell, Esq., Robert J. Cahall, Esq. and/or Nicole Dovishaw, Esq.

This article was prepared by McCormick & Priore, P.C. to provide information on recent legal developments of interest to our readers.  This publication is in no way intended to provide legal advice or to create an attorney-client relationship.  All Rights Reserved.  This article may not be reprinted without the express written permission of McCormick & Priore, P.C.