The Middle District of Pennsylvania memorandum and order in Webb v. Discovery Prop. & Cas. Ins. Co., 2014 WL 105608 (M.D. Pa. Jan. 9, 2014) (mem.) denies a motion for class certification in a case involving the Pennsylvania Motor Vehicle Financial Responsibility Law (MVFRL). The court previously held that the insurer’s underinsured motorist (UIM) rejection forms violated 1731(c) given the added language the insurer incorporated into the rejection form. The plaintiff filed a motion seeking class certification and appointment of counsel.
The court denies the class certification motion because the requirements of Fed.R.C.P. 23(a)(1) regarding numerosity, commonality and predominance have not been met. The Court finds that even though UIM coverage was not validly waived, each individual class member’s entitlement to benefits will depend on a host of individualized considerations pertaining to the facts of each policyholder’s accident and injuries. Thus, there is no need to bind the policyholders to a determination of an action they have not manifested any desire to join. Class action certification is denied and appointment of class counsel deemed moot.
Of course, negotiating with both health and liability insurance companies is a job best suited for advisors with an extensive record of handling such claims. The Harrisburg insurance lawyers at Schmidt Kramer have significant experience in this area of the law; our lawyers even spend part of their careers teaching insurance law to other lawyers!
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