Farrell v. United Financial Casualty Company

Filing 15

MEMORANDUM (Order to follow as separate docket entry) re 10 MOTION for Summary Judgment filed by United Financial Casualty Company Mindful that summary judgment should be granted only in cases where there is no genuine issue of any mat erial fact (see F. R. Civ P. 56 (a), the Court must deny Defendants motion. The Court perceives the question whether Ms. Blakes misstatement regarding the size of the workmans compensation lien was derived from innocent misunderstanding or purposeful stratagem as one implicating a crucial material fact. A jury must pass on Ms. Burkes state of mind when she advised Plaintiffs counsel on July 12, 2016 that the lien amounted to only $26,881.24. If the jurors determine that there was an intenti onal effort to mislead Plaintiff into settling his case for less than the policy limits, an award of bad faith could be a reasonable result here. If the jurors determine that Ms. Blakes misstatement regarding the size of the lien was a result of hone st mistake, the jurors might reasonably conclude no bad faith was present. The court, of course, expresses no opinion regarding the likelihood that Plaintiff can prove his case by the requisite clear and convincing evidence as required by Polselli v Nationwide, supra. An Order consistent with the foregoing Memorandum will be issued contemporaneously. Signed by Honorable Richard P. Conaboy on 10/25/17. (cc)

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