In October 2013, the Superior Court issued an opinion in Stepanovich v. McGraw, holding that naming and identifying insurance companies as defendants doesn’t prejudice other defendants in underinsured motorist cases. But in the two years since that ruling, which left open the question of whether UIM claims should be consolidated with tort claims against a defendant driver, there has been no further case law on the issue, leaving courts across the state to make determinations about bifurcation on a case-by-case basis—and leaving attorneys uncertain of how to advise their clients.
“When you’re going to different counties, you’re going to get different results,” said plaintiffs attorney Michael J. Pisanchyn Jr., of the Pisanchyn Law Firm. “It’s difficult to be able to tell a client with any type of consistency what’s going to happen because there’s no appellate guidance.”
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