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.