Rich McMonigle Provides Insight on PA Superior Court's Insurance Bad Faith Decision for PA Law Weekly
In the April 10, 2018 article by Max Mitchell, "Superior Court Says Trial Judge Strayed Out of Bounds, Tosses $21M Insurance Bad-Faith Award," in PA Law Weekly, Insurance Law Chair Richard L. McMonigle, Jr. provided insight into the Pennsylvania Superior Court's recent decision in Berg v. Nationwide Mutual Insurance.
As the article notes, the Berg decision, "vacated a $21 million insurance bad-faith judgment, finding the Pennsylvania judge who had awarded the money in a lengthy and scathing 2014 opinion improperly considered issues far outside the bounds of the case."
In commenting on the significance of the decision, Mr. Monigle, who is the author of Insurance Bad Faith in Pennsylvania, noted:
“I would call this a stunning decision. It is rare for an appellate court to be so critical of a trial judge, and rarer still to enter judgment for an appellant, rather than simply remand the case."
"The [Berg] opinion shows judges reviewing bad-faith cases need to base their decision on the facts before them. The trial court seemed to penalize the defendant for its vigorous defense, which the Superior Court majority seemed to criticize. An insurance company is entitled to zealous representation by its attorney and to vigorously litigate the case against it, just like any other defendant.”