Running a Shop Operations Law

Gunder’s Auto Center declines State Farm lawsuit settlement

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Oct. 14, 2011—Ray Gunder, owner of Gunder’s Auto Center in Lakeland, Fla., on Friday announced he declined to accept settlement offers from State Farm Insurance regarding lawsuits filed by three of the shop’s customers.

The lawsuits, in which Gunder is acting on behalf of his customers, include claims against State Farm regarding tortious interference, breach of contract, bad faith and contempt of court, according to Gunder.

Gunder said State Farm underpaid the shop for repair costs including paint and materials, labor allowances, and remove and install operations of hardware and trim for refinish processes.

The outstanding monetary amounts for the three lawsuits are $163.31, $124.48 and $1,461.01, according to Gunder.

State Farm notified Gunder Sept. 27 that the company would provide full payment for the outstanding amounts on each of the lawsuits.

“After further consideration, and to discontinue the need for further litigation, State Farm has decided to tender the amounts at issue in each of the above-referenced matters, with interest,” State Farm’s legal counsel wrote in a settlement letter.

State Farm’s legal counsel presented a monetary offer to Gunder during a mediation session Oct. 6. Gunder said the offer was insufficient, and he declined to accept.

“While I’m disappointed that we couldn’t come to an agreement, we are encouraged to continue on with discovery and having our day in court,” Gunder said.

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