In Becker v. Progressive Am. Ins. Co., No: 6:17-cv-114-Orl-31TBS, 2017 WL 735404, at *1 (M.D. Fla. February 24, 2017) (Presnell, J.), a policyholder demanded Underinsured Motorist (UIM) policy limits of $100,000.00. When the limits were not paid, she served a Civil Remedy Notice of Insurer Violation of Florida's Bad Faith Statute.
The Court quoted her counsel's letter to the UIM carrier: "Plaintiff's counsel filed a civil remedy notice alleging bad faith on Progressive's part for its failure to pay the $100,000 policy limit, which he claimed was clearly warranted because Plaintiff's damages are 'far in excess of the minimal $100,000 policy limits.' (Doc. 9 ¶ 39.)" Becker v. Progressive Am. Ins. Co., No: 6:17-cv-114-Orl-31TBS, 2017 WL 735404, at *1 (M.D. Fla. February 24, 2017).
Thereafter the policyholder filed suit in Florida State Court for breach of contract, declaratory judgment, and alleged statutory bad faith.
The UIM carrier removed the case to Federal Court, where one of the requirements was that the case must present an amount in controversy in excess of the jurisdictional limit of $75,000.00. In many cases, policyholders dispute removal of their lawsuits to Federal Courts from the State Courts where they filed their bad-faith lawsuits by arguing that the amount in controversy has not been demonstrated in the record.
Holding that the amount in controversy requirement was met in this case, the U.S. District Court denied the policyholder's motion to remand her case back to Florida State Court. The Court effectively held that the policyholder's demand for $100,000.00 UIM policy limits precluded any argument based on record evidence of the amount in controversy in this case: "Speaking of bad faith, Plaintiff's counsel cannot, in good faith, contend that, under these circumstances, the value of this case does not meet the $75,000 jurisdictional threshold."
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