The Arizona Court of Appeals (Division One) has rightfully reversed and remanded the decision of the Superior Court in Maricopa County to dismiss our client’s case against SCF National Insurance Company; Ralph Morris (“SCF National”). This appellate court victory means Plaintiff’s case will once again take place following an earlier decision of the trial court to dismiss the case.
In January 2011, our client, an employee with the charity St. Vincent de Paul Society (St. Vincent), was working when a refrigerator fell over injuring our client’s shoulder and leg. SCF National and assigned adjuster Robert Morris initially accepted Plaintiff’s claim and paid temporary compensation and medical expenses. In September of 2011, SCF National attempted to terminate Plaintiffs temporary compensation and medical expense coverage, closing the case with a $1,800 compensation for 5% loss of functional arm use. Plaintiff was able to protest this decision in court, and the court agreed SCF National improperly terminated required payments. This period of improper support termination for our client resulted in an unnecessary burden that led Plaintiff to file an insurer bad faith claim against SCF National and adjuster Robert Morris in May 2013.
The recent decision of the appeals court deals with the ongoing bad faith claim. The appeals court found that Plaintiff’s case was improperly dismissed due to an erroneous claim our client failed to file proper notice of claim to a public entity for a bad faith insurance suit. The Arizona statute dictates that notice of claim must be filed accordingly with a public entity. In fact, SCF National, a subsidiary of SCF Arizona was privatized by the state legislature effective January 1, 2013. This means the trial court was incorrect in dismissing the case because SCF National was part of a private entity at the time of our client’s bad faith claim.
This is a significant victory for our client, as Plaintiff will once again receive the chance for a day in court. We full heartedly agree with the Arizona Court of Appeals decision which will potentially hold liable SCF National for their improper and illegal actions.