Rhodes v. USAA Casualty Ins. Co.

Court Holding Suggests No "Reverse Bad Faith" in Pennsylvania


The Superior Court recently held that in an insurance bad faith case that an insurance company defendant is not able to obtain the files of the insured's attorney in the underlying action. The Court reasoned that in an insurance bad faith action that "the outcome of a bad faith action is dependent on the conduct of the insurer, not its insured."

That holding--when combined with broad the language of this case--casts serious doubt on an insurer's ability to assert what is commonly called "reverse bad faith", i.e. arguing that the insureds bad faith ought to be considered as a defense to an insurance company's improper actions. The Superior Court reaffirmed Pennsylvania's view that the focus in bad faith actions is on the actions of the insurance company.

That is significant because it rejects one of the "defenses" that insurance carriers attempt to use in insurance bad faith cases.

By Andrew J. Kennedy, litigation attorney at the Colkitt Law Firm, P.C. Phone: 724-463-3570. Email: ajkennedylaw@yahoo.com.

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Reference Info:Decision | State, 3rd Circuit, Pennsylvania | United States

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Andrew J. Kennedy, Colkitt Law Firm P.C. | Attorney Advertising

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