Jon Campisi Nov. 16, 2012, 11:09am

A cab driver who claims his employer forced him to sign an affidavit stating that he was

uninjured in an off-duty motor vehicle accident, even though he did sustain significant bodily trauma, has filed a bad faith complaint against the taxicab company and the insurer that held the policy on the vehicle he was operating during the incident.

Philadelphia attorney Kenneth M. Rodgers filed suit Nov. 12 at the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas on behalf of city resident Jean Bayala.

The complaint names as defendants Philadelphia-based Congo Taxi LLC and First Keystone Risk Retention Group Inc.

The case stems from an Oct. 17, 2010, motor vehicle accident that occurred while the plaintiff was driving off-duty in his cab after a shift in the area of 18th and Chestnut streets in downtown Philadelphia.

First Keystone held the vehicle insurance policy on the taxicab.

Following the accident, Bayala’s lawyer put the insurance company on notice of a claim for medical payments stemming from the accident, the lawsuit shows.

In early January 2011, the insurer acknowledged that it was the appropriate party to cover the accident in question.

The plaintiff subsequently had to be treated for back injuries and nerve damage in his legs.

On Feb. 8, 2011, Bayala received a notice from his employer stating that he was not permitted to operate any taxis unless he was finished with his medical treatment, the complaint states, to which the plaintiff responded by saying that as a single father with a young child, he needed to be able to work.

The lawsuit goes on to claim that the cab company, acting in concert with the insurance company, coerced Bayala into signing an Affidavit of No Injuries and No Medical Treatment, although Bayala, to this day, has continued to suffer from radiating pain in his back and legs.

Bayala brought a civil action against the driver of the vehicle who rear-ended his car during the incident, although that driver’s insurance company, Allstate, has refused to offer a settlement due to the alleged false affidavit that the plaintiff was forced to sign under threat of losing his job and putting his child at risk, the suit claims.

The complaint says that Congo’s alleged act of inducing the plaintiff into signing the affidavit stating he was uninjured in the car accident constituted an intentional interference with contractual relations, and that Bayala was prevented from seeking further medical care because of the disruption of his medical payments coverage due to him being prevented from entering into a “fair settlement” with the insurer of the offending driver.

“The actions of [the defendants] with respect to its part in procuring a false affidavit from Plaintiff were acts of insurance bad faith and the foregoing actions, in concert with the Plaintiff’s employer, were a civil conspiracy against Plaintiff, to his great financial detriment and loss,” the lawsuit reads.

Bayala seeks more than $50,000 in compensatory damages.


The case ID number is 121101048.

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