A federal court in North Carolina recently granted an insurer’s motion to dismiss an insured’s bad faith claim, holding that the insured’s first-party complaint failed to contain sufficient factual allegations to support such a claim. Huang v. State Farm Fire and Cas. Co., 2015 WL 1433553 (E.D. N.C. March 27, 2015)
The insureds submitted a claim to their insurer after their home was damaged during a thunderstorm. After the insurer denied part of the claim, the insured filed suit in state court, alleging, inter alia, bad faith. The insurer removed the suit to federal court, and immediately moved to dismiss the bad faith claim. Granting the insurer’s motion to dismiss, the court found that an insurer’s refusal to pay for a disputed portion of a claim did not satisfy the first element of a bad faith claim under North Carolina law: that the insurer recognized the claim as valid but refused to pay it. Further, the court found insufficient allegations of bad faith and aggravating conduct, as would be necessary to support a bad faith claim.