R. Bruce Morrison: Lawyer with Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin, P.C.

R. Bruce Morrison

Bruce Morrison is a shareholder with Marshall, Dennehey, Warner, Coleman & Goggin and founded the firm's Insurance Coverage and Bad Faith Practice Group. His practice focuses on the representation of insurance companies directly, both in insurance coverage consultations and in litigation. In addition to his insurance matters, Bruce continues to handle select appellate cases in Pennsylvania state and federal appellate courts.
Phone(215) 575-2624

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 5.0/5.0
AV® Preeminent

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Experience & Credentials Ratings & Reviews
 

Practice Areas

  • Insurance Coverage
  • Appeals
  • Bad Faith
 
University University of Notre Dame, B.A., Government/International Relations, 1978
 
Law SchoolVillanova University School of Law, Villanova, Pennsylvania, J.D., 1981 McDevitt Fellowship
 
Admitted1981, Pennsylvania; U.S. Supreme Court; U.S. Court of Appeals 3rd Circuit; U.S. District Court Eastern District of Pennsylvania; U.S. District Court Western District of Pennsylvania; U.S. District Court Middle District of Pennsylvania
 
Memberships 

Associations & Memberships

Pennsylvania Bar Association

•Pennsylvania Defense Institute, Co-Director, Bad Faith Group

•Philadelphia Bar Association

 
Biography

Bruce founded the firm's Insurance Coverage and Bad Faith Practice Group and is the senior shareholder in that department. He is one of the most respected litigators in Pennsylvania in this discipline. Bruce's practice focuses on the representation of insurance companies directly, both in insurance coverage consultations and in litigation. He also represents the insurers' interests in underlying liability matters with threatened or existing excess exposures, as well as claims brought under the Pennsylvania Bad Faith Statute. In addition to his insurance matters, Bruce handles select appellate cases in Pennsylvania state and federal appellate courts.

In addition to trying and supervising major bad faith and coverage cases statewide, Bruce also obtained the appellate reversal of the first reported punitive damage award against an insurer under the Pennsylvania Bad Faith Statute. More recently, the Superior Court quoted Bruce's amicus brief written for PDI to establish that UM/UIM claims are inherently and unavoidably arm's length and adversarial in the Condio case. He has given numerous seminars and presentations to clients and other professional organizations and has trained claims personnel from Nationwide Insurance Company, AIG, Maryland Casualty, Zurich, CNA, U.S. Liability, Liberty Mutual, Progressive, GEICO, Keystone and other insurers in bad faith and insurance coverage. He has also appeared as a panelist in seminars sponsored by Pennsylvania Bar Institute, The Insurance Society of Philadelphia, The Pennsylvania Defense Institute, PaTLA, Pennsylvania Association for Justice, RIMS, Mealey's and The National Business Institute.

Significant Representative Matters

Polselli v. Nationwide (I) The Third Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the District Court's first award of punitive damages against an insurer under Pennsylvania's bad faith statute and ruled that statutory bad faith claims were subject to the clear and convincing evidence burden of proof. 23 F. 3d 747 (3d Cir. 1997)

Polselli v. Nationwide (II) The Third Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the District Court ruling in favor of Bruce's client on the issue of whether a successful bad faith litigant could recover the attorney fees pursued in the prosecution of the separate and independent statutory bad faith claim. 126 F. 3d 524 (3d Cir. 1997)

Bonenberger v. Nationwide Although the Superior Court refused to disturb the trial court's finding of bad faith based on excerpts taken from outdated claims manual materials, the Court first began to recognize that UM and UIM claims could be evaluated and negotiated like third party liability claims. 791 A. 2d 378 (PA Super. 2002)

Condio v. Erie The Superior Court directly relied upon and quoted from Bruce's amicus curiae brief written for the Pennsylvania Defense Institute to finally recognize that UM and UIM claims are inherently and unavoidably arm's length and adversarial. 899 A. 2d 1136 (PA. Super. 2006)

Baumhammers v. USAA In the insurance coverage litigation arising out of an infamous hate crime spree in which the insureds' adult son shot five people and paralyzed a 6th victim in four separate locations, the Superior and Supreme Courts were asked to decide whether the shooter's parents were covered under their homeowner's and excess policies for the victims' negligent failure to prevent claims. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court ultimately ruled that the homeowner's policy afforded coverage to the parents and that the shooting claims constituted one occurrence. Bruce represented the excess insurer, which was found not to owe coverage due to intentional act and criminal act exclusions. 938 A. 2d 286 (PA 2007)

Green Machine Corp. v. Zurich American Insurance Allegations that an insured improperly copied a competitor's machine, along with its unique method for using the machine to cut concrete, and that it described that method in its promotional materials did not constitute an advertising injury and were not covered. 313 F. 3d 837 (3d Cir. 2000)

Moorhead v. Crozer Chester Medical Center For purposes of computing damages in a bodily injury tort case, the Supreme Court concluded that, where a provider accepts less than the amount initially billed for health care services given to the plaintiff as payment in full for the services due to health insurance contracts, the plaintiff may only recover the amount actually paid and accepted and not the amount originally billed. 765 A 2d 786 (PA 2001)

Jacobs Constructors, Inc v. N.P.S. Energy et al The Third Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the District Court's ruling in favor of Bruce's client, holding that the additional insured contractor was entitled to additional insured coverage for its tort liability to the plaintiff's explosion victims but not for any contractual liability which the contractor had undertaken toward the chemical plant owner. 264 F. 3d 365 (3d Cir. 2001)

Amber-Messick v. Progressive In the case decided just before the Supreme Court's Koken case, the District Court validated and enforced an auto insurer's right to decline arbitration of a UIM claim where the policy provided for arbitration by mutual consent. 2005 U.S. Dist. Lexis 13100 (2005)

Published Works

•Superior Court Emotionally Distressed Over Negligent Infliction Claims, Defense Digest, Winter, 1993

•Bad Faith Burden of Proof Clarified, Defense Digest, Summer, 1994

•Insurance Coverage for Assault and Battery Claim Determined by Complaint, Defense Digest, Fall, 1994

•Revisions to Pennsylvania Rule Puts Post-Trial Motions and Appeals on Fast Track, Defense Digest, February, 1996

•Erie v. Lake: Do You Know Who Your Insureds Are?, Defense Digest, May, 1996

•Erie v. Lake: Do You Know Who Your Insureds Are?, The Legal Intelligencer Insurance Update, Summer, 1996

•CATFund Joint Tort Cap Provision Enforced, Defense Digest, Vol. 3, No. 3, 1997

•The Proper Measure of Compensable Past Medical Expenses Where the Amount Actually Paid is a Fraction of the Amount Initially Billed, Defense Digest, Vol. 4, No. 2, 1998

•Understanding the Moorehead Decision: Hospital Receives Set-Off, (Co-author), The Legal Intelligencer, March 16, 1998

•The Proper Measure of Compensable Past Medical Expenses, Pennsylvania Law Weekly, July 27, 1998

•Litigating Bad Faith Claims in Insurance Coverage Cases, The Legal Intelligencer, Sept. 28, 1998

•Birth Center Delivers Major Headache in Excess Verdict Cases, Defense Digest, Spring, 2002

•Bad Faith and Excess Verdicts: 'The Bermuda Quadrangle', Seminar for Pa. Trial Lawyers Assn. (PATLA), June, 2003

•Ssshh! Are We Required To Whisper Our Legal Advice?, Counterpoint (PDI), April, 2008

Classes/Seminars Taught

Discovery in Bad Faith Claims - Strategies, Common Disputes and Emerging Issues, Pennsylvania Bar Institute, Philadelphia, PA, December 5, 2012

•Frequent lecturer/presenter on insurance related topics, The Insurance Society of Philadelphia

•Frequent lecturer/presenter on insurance related topics, in-house training

•Frequent lecturer/presenter on insurance-related topics, Pennsylvania Bar Institute

•Frequent lecturer/presenter on insurance related topics, Pennsylvania Defense Institute

•Frequent lecturer/presenter on insurance related topics, Philadelphia Association of Defense Counsel

Honors & Awards

•AV Preeminent by LexisNexis Martindale-Hubbell

•Best Lawyers in America - Philadelphia Insurance Law 2012 Lawyer of the Year. Insurance Law, 2006-Present

•Pennsylvania Super Lawyer, 2005-2014

Year Joined Organization: 1981

 
Reported CasesPolselli v. Nationwide ; Morehead v. Crozer Chester Medical Center ; Britamco v. Grzeskiewicz ; Britamco v. Weiner ; Jacobs Constructors, Inc. v. NPS Energy, et al ; Armstrong v. Paoli Memorial Hospital
 
ISLN902351941
 


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Office Information

R. Bruce Morrison

2000 Market Street, Suite 2300
PhiladelphiaPA 19103




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