Burns White successfully defends insurer in class action suit alleging breach of contract and violations of the Consumer Protection Law

Jun 27, 2011 | News

Pittsburgh, June 24, 2011 – Attorneys at Burns White LLC have successfully defended an insurance company in a class action suit against allegations that it breached its contract to policyholders and violated the Consumer Protection Law.

Six similar class action suits of this nature had been filed in Pennsylvania in recent years. This was the first instance in which a suit had been dismissed at Summary Judgment.

The plaintiff, Allan LaCaffinie, and his counsel argued that all owners of a single vehicle who selected a “stacking” option in their policy from the defendant – Standard Fire Insurance Co. – did not receive a benefit. Attempting to expand the view of a 2008 Pennsylvania Supreme Court decision, the plaintiff sought to certify this group as a class of thousands across the state who were harmed by the alleged lack of differentiation between “stacked” and “non-stacked” in the policies.

In defense of Standard Fire Insurance Co., Burns White attorneys David B. White and Dean F. Falavolito successfully convinced the court that the policy did indeed contain a clear benefit for policy holders who selected the “stacked” option.

Specifically, Judge Steve P. Leskinen of the Court of Common Pleas of Fayette County, Pennsylvania, wrote the following: “The Court must grant Defendant’s Motion for Summary Judgment as the insurance contract at issue provides a distinct ‘stacking’ benefit that is absent in an insurance coverage where the insured executes a valid waiver of stacking coverage.”

To read the complete order of the Court, please click here.

Click here to learn more about David White.