Insurance bad faith practitioners in Pennsylvania are intimately familiar with the case of Berg v. Nationwide Mutual Insurance, in which the trial judge awarded punitive damages in the amount of $18 million and attorney fees of $3 million in June 2014. The Pennsylvania Superior Court vacated the judgment in June 2018, and the case was then appealed to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. The Supreme Court granted the petition for appeal.

On its face, the Supreme Court’s acceptance of a case involving a substantial bad faith award has the potential to dramatically impact Pennsylvania’s bad faith landscape. However, the issues that the Supreme Court has agreed to consider on appeal suggest that the appeal may be limited in scope, and therefore, in impact.

The Road to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court

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