AASP-NJ Issues Call to Action Regarding Consent Decree
Aug. 19, 2019—The Alliance of Automotive Service Providers of New Jersey (AASP-NJ) is taking action in defense of the Consent Decree.
The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) issued a proposal to terminate a Consent Decree that was enacted in 1963 that legally instructed 265 insurers and various other entities not to conspire to unreasonably restrain trade and commerce in the collision repair market.
According to AASP-NJ's statement, the insurers and co-conspirators were permanently barred from (among other things) placing into effect any plan, program or practice that has the purpose or effect of:
- sponsoring, endorsing or otherwise recommending any appraiser of damage to automotive vehicles;
- directing, advising or otherwise suggesting that any person or firm do business or refuse to do business with (a) any appraiser of damage to automotive vehicles with respect to the appraisal of such damage, or (b) any independent or dealer franchised automotive repair shop;
- exercising any control over the activities of any appraiser of damage to automotive vehicles;
- allocating or dividing customers, territories, markets or business among any appraisers of damage to automotive vehicles;
- or fixing, establishing, maintaining or otherwise controlling the prices to be paid for the appraisal of damage to automotive vehicles, or to be charged by independent or dealer franchised automotive repair shops for the repair of damage to automotive vehicles or for replacement parts or labor in connection therewith, whether by coercion, boycott or intimidation.
"The 1963 Consent Decree is a critical document that adds teeth to the collision industry's side when it deals with insurers," comments AASP-NJ president Jerry McNee. "The Department of Justice should be endorsing and promoting it on behalf of consumers - not considering erasing it from history. AASP/NJ stands behind the Consent Decree and all efforts to keep it in place."