New Jersey Judge Denies Motion For Bench Trial On Bad Faith Claim

New Jersey Judge Denies Motion For Bench Trial On Bad Faith Claim

Judge Bill Mathesius of the Mercer County, N.J., Superior Court on Aug. 22 denied without prejudice motions by TIG Insurance Co., Transamerica Corp. and Pyramid Insurance Co. for a bench trial on IMO Industries Inc.'s bad faith and other tort claims against them.

Judge Mathesius rejected TIG's reliance on In re Environmental Insurance Declaratory Judgment Actions (149 N.J. 278 [N.J. 1997]) in arguing that legal claims that are ancillary to the specific performance equitable claim do not receive a jury trial.

"Ultimately, at the end of the day why is not a jury the best to determine the nature and function of what they contend to be bad faith acts?" the judge said.

Trial is set to begin Sept. 15.