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Goldsmith v. Nationwide Ins. Co., 2023 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 197359 (November 2, 2023) (Mannion, J.).

In this bad faith insurance claim case, defendant-insurer Nationwide felt Plaintiff William Goldsmith was not forthcoming with key details in its investigation into the alleged theft and arson of his car—such as when Goldsmith last saw the car or the fact that his daughter had been convicted of stealing his car before. Goldsmith says Nationwide denied his claim in bad faith. Nationwide now moves for summary judgment.

Here, a review of the undisputed material facts, of which there are many on this record, reveals Goldsmith cannot demonstrate bad faith on the part of Nationwide by sufficient evidence. Nationwide, as the moving party, has demonstrated it had a reasonable basis in denying Goldsmith’s claim: namely, that he violated the policy’s material misrepresentation provision when he provided inconsistent statements on the whereabouts of his truck prior to the theft and, more significantly, that he denied on multiple occasions that anyone had stolen his vehicle before, even though his daughter had been previously convicted of doing so in 2012. See Millard v. Shelby Cas. Ins. Co., No. 3:CV-02-1902, 2005 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 45502, 2005 WL 2035860, at *4 (M.D. Pa. Aug. 24, 2005) (“Pennsylvania courts have long ruled that a violation of the fraud and concealment provision of an insurance policy . . . serves as a complete bar to the insured’s recovery under the policy.”) (citations omitted).