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NOVAK v. PROGRESSIVE HALCYON INSURANCE COMPANY
May 16, 2005.
KIM L. NOVAK, Plaintiff,
PROGRESSIVE HALCYON INSURANCE COMPANY (FORMALLY HALCYON INSURANCE COMPANY), PROGRESSIVE CASUALTY INSURANCE COMPANY AND PROGRESSIVE INSURANCE GROUP, A/K/A PROGRESSIVE Defendants.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: EDWIN KOSIK, Senior District Judge
Defendants seek to exclude evidence of the Report of Market
Conduct Examination of the Progressive Casualty Insurance Company
by the Pennsylvania Insurance Department Market Conduct Division
and Consent Order issued April 3, 2000 (MCE/CO) maintaining the
report and consent order are extraneous and not pertinent to this
breach of contract action.
Since we write for the parties, we need not go into the
background of this case except to note that the market report and
consent order were the subject of discovery and related
interrogation of knowledgeable defense witnesses. On November 24,
2004, we denied a defense motion for a protective order based on
plaintiff's assertion that within two years of the consent order, defendants violated
its terms in handling plaintiff's first-party medical claim.
While the report and consent order were not specifically related
to plaintiff's case, the critical conduct of defendants was being
repeated. We reverted the issue in denying a defense motion for
summary judgment and ruled the relevance of the report in a bad
faith action as evidence that defendants failed to implement the
same procedures in plaintiff's case for which they were
criticized in the report and consent order dealing with similar
Unfortunately, we have the defense directly contradicting
plaintiff's claim of relevance without anything more than
assertions; basically a factual dispute at this stage of the
case. Although our earlier order dealing with the defense
protective order also required knowledgeable defense witnesses to
be deposed on the subject of the report and consent order, we
have little reference to any light which may have been shed on
the subject in those depositions.*fn1 Regardless, the report
focused on a number of matters including standards for prompt,
fair and equitable settlements. There may have been minimal
violations which amount to nothing more than negligence. However,
along with other evidence, there might be a sufficient basis to
support bad faith alone. The briefs went further in addressing an issue beyond bad faith
itself, i.e., punitive damages. We need not address this legal
issue in disposing of this motion.
For the foregoing reason, the defense motion in limine is
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