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Bleday v. OUM Group
Pennsylvania Superior Court
645 A.2d 1358 (1994)
Tracey Worchesky sued Dr. Raymond Bleday (plaintiff) for medical malpractice for alleged issues following a foot surgery. Bleday believed the claim was frivolous and objected to settling it. However, Bleday had malpractice insurance through OUM Group (defendant). The policy said that OUM Group would pay to defend Bleday against any claim, including frivolous claims. Bleday’s policy also had a provision called a deems-expedient provision, which said that OUM Group had the right to settle any covered claim “as it deems expedient.” OUM Group decided it was in its best interest to pay Worchesky a nuisance value of $10,000 to avoid the cost and uncertainty of defending Bleday from the likely frivolous claim at trial. The settlement meant that the claim was never dismissed, and Bleday’s name was put on a list of doctors involved in malpractice actions. Bleday believed this harmed his reputation and sued OUM Group. Bleday argued that OUM Group had breached its duty of good faith when it settled the claim without his consent. The trial court dismissed the claim, and Bleday appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Hudock, J.)
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