Pennsylvania High Court Mulls $21M Bad-Faith Verdict Against Nationwide

 Friday, November 22, 2019

 The Legal Intelligencer

A trial judge’s decision to slam an insurance carrier with a $21 million bad-faith award was an assault on the industry and the state Superior Court was well within reason to toss the verdict, an attorney representing Nationwide argued before the Pennsylvania Supreme Court in the closely watched case, Berg v. Nationwide.

Dechert attorney Robert Heim told six judges of the Supreme Court during its Harrisburg session Thursday that Berks County Court of Common Pleas Judge Jeffrey Sprecher’s decision awarding the plaintiffs $18 million in bad-faith damages and $3 million in attorney fees was completely divorced from the evidence in the record and showed clear bias.
Sprecher’s scathing 2014 opinion announcing the decision was a ”flat-out assault on the [insurance] industry,” Heim told the justices.