An insurer’s motion to strike an insured’s bad faith count against it was recently denied in Antonacci v. Darwin Select Ins. Co., 2009 WL 1424676 (Conn. Super. April 28, 2009).
The insured law firm filed an action against its insurer for breach of contract on the basis that the insurer was obligated to defend and indemnify its insured and refused to do so. The insured’s complaint also included a common law bad faith count alleging that the insurer breached its obligation to deal fairly and in good faith with the plaintiffs and that it did not do so; rather, it put the defendant’s own financial interest ahead of the interest of its insured. The insurer moved the court to strike the bad faith count on the basis that the insureds failed to allege facts, rather than mere conclusions, sufficient to support their claim.
In deciding the motion to strike, the court looked to the original pleadings filed by the parties in the case of Buckman v. People Express, Inc., 205 Conn. 166 (1987), which is the principle case in Connecticut defining the “bad faith” element in the cause of action for breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing. In comparing the language of the bad faith count at issue in this case with the language of the allegation in the operative complaint in Buckman, the court was not persuaded that a more specific or objective set of facts needed to be set forth in the complaint.