State Farm Wins in Racial Bias Suit

Order Reprints

Nov. 27, 2018—State Farm Mutual Automotive Insurance Company has won dismissal of a lawsuit alleging the insurer discriminated against a minority-owned repair shop wanting to participate in the Select Service Program for State Farm customers.

According to a report by Bloomberg Law, The Fifth Circuit in 2017 affirmed the previous dismissal of most of the discrimination claims brought by Body by Cook and owner Robert Cook. Only Body by Cook’s Section 1981 failure-to-contract race bias claim remained to be litigated in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana. But the district court granted summary judgment to State Farm Nov. 16, saying that “no reasonable trier of fact could find that State Farm had an available contract” to bring BBC into its Select Service Program during the time periods in question.

Two of the dates, Nov. 2011 and March 2014, were too far in the past to bring claims, the court said, according to the report.

BBC was unable to prove untrue State Farm's claims that it had a firm five-contract ceiling for the Slidell, La., area. The repair shop was also unable to point to a non-minority entity that was treated favorably by State Farm at the time of the July failure to contract claim.

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