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Goldberg Segalla Successful for Insurer in Retrospective Workers’ Compensation Case

Case Study

Goldberg Segalla Successful for Insurer in Retrospective Workers’ Compensation Case

June 27, 2011

A team of Goldberg Segalla attorneys from the firm’s Princeton and Philadelphia offices secured a federal court victory for Liberty Insurance Corporation in the company’s suit to collect retrospective workers’ compensation insurance premiums owed by an insured. Jonathan M. Kuller of Goldberg Segalla’s Princeton office and Matthew R. Shindell of the firm’s Philadelphia office represented the insurer in this case before the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania, and Anthony J. Golowski II of the Princeton office performed legal research for the case and assisted in writing the brief.

This case involved a retrospective insurance premium arrangement by which the insurer administered a workers compensation program for PGT Trucking, Inc. After the carrier sought a declaration of rights under the insurance policies provided to PGT and recovery of unpaid premiums totaling over $180,000, PGT filed a counterclaim that included a statutory claim for insurer bad faith under 42 Pa.C.S.A. § 8371 as well as a claim of breach of fiduciary duty.

The insurer filed a motion to dismiss these two claims, and on June 27, 2011, the court issued a ruling granting that motion. In dismissing the statutory bad faith claim, the court agreed with the carrier’s argument that PGT’s counterclaim failed to plead sufficient facts to establish a plausible claim against our client. In dismissing the claim of breach of fiduciary duty, the court stated there is no independent cause of action for such a breach in cases involving retrospective premium arrangements.

The case is Liberty Insurance Corporation v. PGT Trucking, Inc., 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 68444 (W.D. Pa. 2011).