On September 17, 2014 the Fourth District Court of Appeal explained that a trial court can abate a bad faith action that is brought before an underinsured motorist claim is resolved. A full copy of the Safeco Insurance Company of Illinois v. Beare opinion can be accessed here.
Unlike other claims, a bad faith lawsuit can more commonly be removed to Federal Court because the defendant is an insurer that will likely have a principle place of business outside of Florida and the damages often exceed $75,000. Insurance companies typically prefer to litigate in Federal Court, especially bad faith lawsuits, because Federal Court is a more favorable forum for insurers. The Beare decision provides support for the argument that a bad faith lawsuit can be brought with an uninsured motorist claim and then be abated. By bringing the bad faith lawsuit initially, an insurance company may ultimately be precluded from removing the bad faith lawsuit to Federal Court.