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PA Court Upholds Record-Setting Bad Faith Insurance Ruling

SSGBS Insurance litigation

In March, a Pennsylvania federal court upheld the $7.9 million award against insurers The Medical Protective Co. The Jurinko v. The Medical Protective Co. case is the biggest bad faith award in Pennsylvania’s history. It resulted from the insurer’s failure to offer the plaintiff their policy’s full limits and for assigning one lawyer to represent two of their insured parties in the same medical malpractice case.

Bad faith insurance claims are incredibly complex. We can help explain and navigate the legal minefields of insurers. If you or a loved one has been injured and has trouble securing compensation from an insurer, the Philadelphia insurance litigation attorneys at Solomon, Sherman & Gabay are here to help.

What is a bad faith insurance claim?

If insured parties bring legitimate claims to insurance companies, they have a contractual and good faith duty to provide compensation. If they do not act in good faith, you do not have to prove fraud. You only need to show their reaction was dishonest and breached their duty to act in good faith.

There are seven common components behind most faith case:

  1. If an insurance carrier denies a claim without reason
  2. If an insurance carrier does not properly conduct a complete investigation
  3. If an insurance carrier unreasonably delays a claim
  4. If an insurance carrier refuses to settle or pay a valid claim
  5. If an insurance carrier offers less money or an unreasonably low settlement to the policyholder
  6. If an insurance carrier makes threatening statements to policyholders or submitters of a claim
  7. If an insurance carrier willfully misrepresents the policy’s language or the insurance laws of Pennsylvania

The landmark case

After four years of litigation, the case culminated in a six-day trial. The Jurinko v. The Medical Protective Co. award included $1.6 in compensatory damages and $6.6 million in punitive damages.

Bad faith was determined when the Medical Protective Co. failed to tender its primary policy limits ($200,000) to settle a medical malpractice claim against its insured, the dermatologist Dr. Paul Marcincin. The insurers also assigned the same lawyer to represent two separate doctors in the same case.

The insurer admitted the case was likely to result in damages exceeding the $200,000 policy limits, but they refused to offer more than $50,000 from Dr. Marcincin’s $200,000 line of coverage. This failure blocked Dr. Marcincin from drawing from his $1 million lines of malpractice insurance coverage to settle the case.

When should I contact a lawyer?

If an insurance carrier denies, delays do not investigate, undervalues, or misrepresents your insurance claim, or threaten you, you may pursue bad faith litigation.

The Philadelphia insurance litigation lawyers at Solomon, Sherman & Gabay understand what it takes to go up against aggressive insurance carriers and secure maximum compensation. We can be by your side from the beginning to the successful end of your case. Contact us for a free consultation of your case by clicking here or calling 215-665-1100.