United States District Court, District of Delaware
KERRY JOHNSON, and SHARON ANDERSON, on behalf of themselves and all others similarly situated Plaintiffs;
GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES INSURANCE COMPANY, et al, Defendants,
Richard H. Cross, Jr., Esq., Christopher P. Simon, Esq., and Kevin S. Mann, Esq., Cross and Simon LLC, Wilmington, DE; Ingrid Moll, Esq., Motley Rice, LLC, Hartford, CT, attorneys for the Plaintiffs.
Paul A. Bradley, Esq., Maron Marvel Bradley & Anderson, LLC, Wilmington, DE; George M. Church, Esq. and Laura A. Cellucci, Esq., Miles & Stockbridge P.C., Baltimore, MD; Meloney Perry, Esq., Perry Law P.C., Dallas, TX, attorneys for the Defendants.
ANDREWS, UNITED STATEST DISTRICT JUDGE:
Presently before the Court for disposition is Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment Regarding the Claims of Sharon Anderson. (D.I. 579). This matter has been fully briefed. (D.I. 585, 599, 611). For the reasons set forth herein, the Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment is GRANTED IN PART and DEFERRED IN PART.
The Plaintiffs filed this case on April 19, 2006 in the Superior Court of Delaware. The case was removed to this Court on June 27, 2006. (D.I. 1). The Plaintiffs assert that the Defendants' automated claims processing system violates the Delaware personal injury protection law ("PIP") as it "imposes undisclosed and unjustified policy exclusions in violation of Defendants' contractual, extra-contractual, statutory, and regulatory obligations to their insureds . ..." (D.I. 599 at 8). This case has seven Counts.
I. Declaratory Judgment
II. Breach of Contract
III. Bad Faith Breach of Contract
IV. Breach of the Duty of Fair Dealing
V. Common Law Fraud
VI. Consumer Fraud
VII. Tortious Interference with Contract
On December 30, 2009 the Court certified this case as a class action for Counts III, IV, and VI. (D.I. 321 at 1). The Defendants now move the Court to grant their Motion for Summary Judgment on all seven Counts.
"The court shall grant summary judgment if the movant shows that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law." Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). The moving party has the initial burden of proving the absence of a genuinely disputed material fact relative to the claims in question. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, All U.S. 317, 330 (1986). Material facts are those "that could affect the outcome" of the proceeding, and "a dispute about a material fact is 'genuine' if the evidence is sufficient to permit a reasonable jury to return a verdict for the nonmoving party." Lamont v. New Jersey, 637 F.3d 177, 181 (3d Cir. 2011) (quoting
Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986)). The burden on the moving party may be discharged by demonstrating that there is an absence of evidence supporting the non-moving party's case. Celotex,
477 U.S. at 325.
The burden then shifts to the non-movant to demonstrate the existence of a genuine issue for trial. Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 586-87 (1986); Williams v. Borough of West Chester, Pa., 891 F.2d 458, 460-61 (3d Cir. 1989). A non-moving party asserting that a fact is genuinely disputed must support such an assertion by: "(A) citing to particular parts of materials in the record, including depositions, documents, electronically stored information, affidavits or declarations, stipulations . .., admissions, interrogatory answers, or other materials; or (B) showing that the materials cited [by the opposing party] do not establish the absence ... of a genuine dispute ...." Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c)(1).
When determining whether a genuine issue of material fact exists, the court must view the evidence in the light most favorable to the non-moving party and draw all reasonable inferences in that party's favor. Scott v. Harris, 550 U.S. 372, 380 (2007); Wishkin v. Potter, 476 F.3d 180, 184 (3d Cir. 2007). A dispute is "genuine" only if the evidence is such that a reasonable jury could return a verdict for the non-moving party. Anderson,
477 U.S. at 247^9. If the non-moving party fails to make a sufficient showing on an essential element of its case with respect to which it has the burden of proof, the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. See Celotex Corp.,
477 U.S. at 322.
The Defendants put forth four main arguments: (1) that the Plaintiff Sharon Anderson ("Plaintiff) lacks standing under 21 Del. C. §§2118 and 2118B(c), (2) that the Plaintiff is not entitled to the statutory penalty under 21 Del. C. § 2118B(c) because she was provided a written explanation for any denial of payment, (3) that GEICO is entitled to summary judgment on Counts III, IV, and VI because they are premised on a violation of 18 Del. C. § 2304(16), and (4) that GEICO is entitled to summary judgment on all seven ...