Mississippi Steering Case Moves Forward
Feb. 25, 2016—On Feb. 17, United States Magistrate Judge Thomas B. Smith recommended that Defendants’ Motions to Dismiss be granted in part and denied in part in the Capitol Body Shop Inc. et al v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company.
According to court documents, given to FenderBender by Eaves Law Firm, Judge Thomas ruled that three of the shops’ allegations—two against Progressive and one against State Farm—had enough evidence to survive a motion to dismiss.
The case, which was consolidated for pretrial purposes, alleges that Mississippi insurers were steering customers. Twenty-six Mississippi repair shops are the Plaintiffs and the Defendants are made up of 18 insurers.
Judge Smith recommended that the other 23 plaintiffs’ claims of steering be thrown out for good.
In the court’s report and recommendation for the case, Judge Smith issued the following recommendation:
Upon consideration of the foregoing, I RESPECTFULLY RECOMMEND that with the exception of Plaintiff’s claims for tortious interference with business relations by (1) Plaintiff Alexander Body Shop, LLC, against State Farm; (2) Plaintiff Hypercolor Automotive Reconditioning, LLP, d/b/a AutoWorks Collision Specialists, LLP, against Progressive; and (3) Plaintiff Walkers Collision Center, Inc., against Progressive, all of Plaintiffs’ state law claims be dismissed with prejudice.
The remaining three claims survived. District Judge Gregory A. Presnell has final ruling on the matter.