R. Bruce Morrison - Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin, P.C.

R. Bruce Morrison

Listed in Best Lawyers since 2006
Phone: 215-575-2624

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.

University of Notre DameBA 1978Villanova UniversityJ.D. 1981
Pennsylvania Defense InstitutePhiladelphia Bar Association

Case History

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 on behalf of 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)

Office Location

2000 Market Street, Suite 2300
Philadelphia, PA 19103
United States

Lawyer of the Year Awards

2012 Lawyer of the Year in Insurance Law of the Philadelphia Metro Area
R. Bruce Morrison has earned a Lawyer of the Year award for 2012!

Practice Areas

Insurance Law