On January 7, 2022, Joel Wertman and Doug Fogle of Winget, Spadafora & Schwartzberg LLP’s Philadelphia, Pennsylvania office successfully secured summary judgment on behalf of their client, a wholesale insurance broker, in the matter of The Original Apostolic Faith Church v.  American Casualty, et al., before the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas.  The Court’s decision is an important adjudication as to the scope of duties and responsibilities for insurance agents and brokers operating in Pennsylvania.

The Complaint sought several million dollars in damages related to insurance coverage for a March 2018 fire loss in Philadelphia.  In dismissing the claim for negligence, the Court agreed that the wholesale insurance broker did not owe a duty to maintain insurance coverage or to assist in obtaining new coverage as the record developed in discovery did not suggest the existence of a heightened, confidential relationship.   The Court also dismissed the breach of contract claim as a matter of law in concluding that the developed record evidenced no enforceable contract.  In particular, the Court rejected Plaintiff’s argument to the contrary and concluded that mere puffery language in an email tagline does not constitute a promise or commitment.

Joel Wertman, a partner with WSSLLP’s Philadelphia office, was lead counsel.  Doug Fogle, an associate with the Philadelphia office, collaborated with Mr. Wertman on briefing.