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Corleto Wins Summary Judgment and Counter Claims for Insurance Company

March 27, 2009
Anthony B. Corleto (Partner-Connecticut) won summary judgment dismissal of tortious interference, unfair trade practice and breach of an exclusive dealing contract claim in Connecticut Federal Court on behalf of the defendant, an insurance company.

The plaintiff, an independent adjuster, commenced this action to recover payment of unpaid invoices and for breach of an alleged agreement to use the adjuster’s services exclusively in Connecticut and Western Massachusetts. An internal audit revealed a pattern of fraudulent billing, prompting the insurance company to withhold payment and to end the relationship. The plaintiff refused a pre-suit offer to compromise his claim at 50 percent. After the suit was filed, the insurance company secured a forensic report quantifying the plaintiff’s overcharges at $165,000. On that basis, the defendant-insurance company brought a counterclaim for affirmative relief.

Resolving cross motions for summary judgment, The United States District Court granted judgment to the insurer dismissing the adjuster’s claims for wrongful termination, breach of the exclusivity agreement, breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing, promissory estoppel, negligent misrepresentation claims and The Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act (CUTPA) claims. The insurer’s counterclaims for breach of contract, promissory estoppel and breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, survived summary judgment.

This case is scheduled to go to trial on the insurer's counterclaims and plaintiff’s core claim for unpaid service invoices.

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