Pennsylvania Supreme Court Grants Appeal in $21 Million Bad Faith Case

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has granted the petition for allowance of the appeal in Berg v. Nationwide Mut. Ins. Co., Inc., 2019 WL 1417141 (Pa. 2019).

In Berg, the Pennsylvania Superior Court reversed the trial court’s entry of judgment and $21 million verdict in favor of an insured and against an insurer for insurance bad faith arising out of a $12,000 property damage claim. See Berg v. Nationwide Mut. Ins. Co., Inc., 189 A.3d 1030 (Pa. Super. Ct. 2018).

Specifically, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court has granted the appeal on the following issues, as framed by Berg as the Petitioner:

  1. [D]oes an appellate court abuse its discretion by reweighing and disregarding clear and convincing evidence introduced in the trial court upon which the trial court relied to enter a finding of insurance bad faith?
  2. [D]id the Superior Court abuse its discretion by reweighing and disregarding clear and competent evidence upon which the trial court relied to support its finding of insurance bad faith [pursuant to the standard set forth in Rancosky v. Washington Nat’l Ins Co., 170 A.3d 364 (Pa. 2017)]?
  3. Does an insurer that elects under an insurance contract to repair collision damage to a motor vehicle, rather than pay the insured the fair value of the loss directly, have a duty to return the motor vehicle to its insured in a safe and serviceable condition pursuant to national insurance standards, and pursuant to its duty of good faith and fair dealing?

The Supreme Court denied the appeal as to all remaining issues.