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11/09/2012

Attorneys Mitchell and Derringer Obtain Dismissal of Bad Faith and UM Claims

The plaintiff claimed that he sustained serious injuries in connection with a phantom vehicle accident and asserted a UM claim against  a large national insurer. Cipriani & Werner PC was retained to conduct an examination under oath and to compile information necessary to investigate and adjust the matter.  The claimant failed to provide the information requested and instead  filed suit in New Jersey Superior Court.  In addition to seeking recovery of UM benefits, the plaintiff claimed that the insurer acted in bad faith by failure to tender the UM benefits, arguing that plaintiff’s claimed injuries exceeded the policy limits.

Attorneys Mitchell and Derringer moved to dismiss the Complaint, and argued that the plaintiff was not entitled to bring suit because the plaintiff had failed to adhere to the cooperation clause in the policy.  Further the insurer could not have acted in bad faith because they did not deny the claim.  Rather, C&W argued that plaintiff’s failure to cooperate prohibited the insurer from investigating the claim. 

The Court agreed and dismissed the plaintiff’s Complaint.  The Court held that the plaintiff had to cooperate with the discovery requests in the policy before being able to maintain suit.  Likewise, the Court held that the insurer could not have acted in bad faith because it had not, in fact, denied the plaintiff’s claim. For any questions or need for assistance in New Jersey with insurance coverage or bad faith issues, please contact Matt Mitchell, Esquire at mmitchell@c-wlaw.com or Jordan Derringer, Esquire at jderringer@c-wlaw.com.