United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania
Honorable Richard P. Conaboy United States District Court
consider here a Motion for Summary Judgment (Doc. 35) filed
by Defendant State Farm Fire & Casualty Company
(“State Farm”)on March 27, 2017. Plaintiffs
Robert Turner and Bonnie Coenen filed this lawsuit against
State Farm as a result of a fire that destroyed their
residence in Shickshinny, Pennsylvania on December 24, 2013.
Plaintiffs had an insurance policy with State Farm that
covered their home and its contents. They allege that State
Farm refused to pay for certain covered damages under that
policy and unreasonably delayed payment on other lost
property. Their Complaint (Doc. 1, Exhibit A) sets forth
causes of action for breach of contract and bad faith.
Farm contends that it reasonably and promptly compensated
Plaintiffs for all covered losses and that any delay in
payment was a result of Plaintiffs' failure to perform
their obligations under their policy with State Farm. The
parties have briefed their positions (Docs. 36, 41, and 45)
and this motion is now ripe for disposition.
or about April 6, 2015 Plaintiffs commenced the instant
lawsuit by complaint filed in the Luzerne County Court of
May 5, 2015, State Farm removed this case to the United
States District Court for the Middle District of
Plaintiffs' complaint alleges causes of action for breach
of contract and bad faith against State Farm arising out of a
homeowners' claim submitted by the Plaintiffs.
or about December 24, 2013, the Plaintiffs “sustained a
loss and damages” due to a fire in their residence
located at 414 Bloomingdale Road, Shickshinny, Pennsylvania.
Plaintiffs' residence was insured under a homeowners
policy of insurance issued by State Farm - - Policy #
policy provided coverage as follows: (a) $193, 200.00 for the
structure; (b) $144, 900.00 for personal property; and (c)
loss of use as determined by the actual loss sustained.
Plaintiffs never rebuilt their home after the fire.
Plaintiffs have not contacted any contractors about
rebuilding their home.
State Farm paid Defendant $193, 200.00 for the loss of the
structure on or about March 20, 2014.
the date after the fire State Farm Agent, Robert Thompson,
advanced the Plaintiffs $2, 000.00 on their personal property
December 26, 2013, State Farm claim representative Ray
Moncavage wrote to the Plaintiffs and advised that there was
additional coverage under “Option OL-Building Ordinance
or Law.” This is additional coverage that is payable
when such costs are incurred, and the letter set forth the
policy language concerning such coverage.
Moncavage also indicated to Plaintiff Coenen that she would
need to complete a Personal Property Inventory.
Moncavage requested that Plaintiff Coenen provide drawings of
the layout of the home in January of 2014 in order that he
could prepare an estimate.
or about March 4, 2014, Plaintiff Coenen retained a public
adjustor, Scott Seeherman, to represent her concerning her
claim with State Farm.
Seeherman had dealt with Mr. Moncavage in the past, had not
had any problems working with him, and confirmed that there
was good communication between the two.
Seeherman contacted State Farm soon after his retention and
requested an additional advance payment on contents/personal
property in the amount of $10, 000.00 17. State Farm then
issued a check in the amount of $10, 000.00 as requested by
Mr. Seeherman on March 4, 2014.
the time he was retained, Mr. Seeherman advised Plaintiff
Coenen that she needed to prepare a “personal property