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Saturday, March 28, 2015

LORI A. WACKER-CIOCCO AND MICHAEL J. CIOCCO VS. GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES INSURANCE COMPANY, D/B/A GEICO A-2547-13T4

LORI A. WACKER-CIOCCO AND MICHAEL J. CIOCCO VS. GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES INSURANCE COMPANY, D/B/A GEICO 
A-2547-13T4 

In Procopio v. Government Employees Insurance Company, 433 N.J. Super. 377 (App. Div. 2013), the plaintiff insured asserted a claim for underinsured motorist (UIM) benefits and a bad faith claim against his carrier. Although the trial court bifurcated the claims for trial, holding the bad faith claim in abeyance, it compelled discovery to proceed on all claims. We held it was an abuse of discretion for the trial court to order that discovery on both claims proceed simultaneously. In this case, the initial decision to deny the severance motion came after some discovery related to the bad faith claim had been provided and before Procopio was decided. This interlocutory appeal presents the question whether the disclosure of some bad faith-related materials brings the denial of a severance motion and the decision to compel related discovery within the scope of the trial court's proper exercise of discretion. We hold that it does not. 03/16/15