For certain types of contracts, the remedy for the breach of the implied duty of good faith and fair dealing has been found to lie in tort. Until the Supreme Court's ruling in Pilot Life Ins. Co. v. Dedeaux, courts were rapidly extending the application of the tort of bad faith breach of contract into areas beyond the traditionally accepted realm of insurance contracts. Most significant for the purposes of this note was the expansion into the area of health care services, specifically health maintenance organizations. Perhaps because of the chilling effect Pilot Life has had upon this form of litigation, bad faith breach of contract has yet to be explored as a means of addressing a major health problem in the United States: the plight of the nursing home resident. In this note an attempt is made to redefine the elements of the tort and examine the justification of extending it to the nursing home contract, the disadvantages of current remedies for the nursing home resident, and the advantages recognition of the tort of bad faith breach of contract would afford the resident / plaintiff.
Note, Nursing Home Contracts: Is It Time for Bad Faith to Come Out of Retirement?, 6 J.L. & Health 61 (1991-1992)