Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Appeals Court holds that 93A claim can proceed after insurer rectifies failure to pay PIP damages

Marie Chery was injured in a car accident while she was a passenger in a car insured by Metropolitan. She submitted her PIP claim to Met, which failed to pay the medical bills within the time prescribed by Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 90 § 34M. Chery then sued for breach of the statute and Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 93A.

Six months later Met paid the medical bills. It then moved for summary judgment on the ground that an insured cannot prevail on a PIP claim if the disputed amount is paid prior to judgment entering; and that the 93A claim should be dismissed because Chery suffered no damages.

Chery did not dispute the first assertion. (See my post on that issue here.) She argued that Met had not paid a bill she submitted after she filed the complaint. That argument was ineffective because she had never amended the complaint to include reference to that bill.

In Chery v. Metropolitan Prop. & Cas. Ins. Co., 79 Mass. App. Ct. 697 (2011), the Massachusetts Appeals Court held that her 93A claim could survive summary judgment. It held that Metropolitan has caused her injury by failing to settle her claim after its liability was reasonably clear and forcing her to bring suit to receive benefits to which she was entitled.

The court also found support in the record for the claim that Chery had suffered emotional distress from having to prosecute the lawsuit and concern for the effect the unpaid bills would have on her credit.


chandra said...

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Anonymous said...

They are doing same to me have been an emotional wreck since may was rear ended by an 18wheeler now my lawyer quit my cas saying he doesn't have enough experience for this! I am so upset and have sooo many medical bills