Judge Dismisses Florida Auto Body Shops’ Suit
June 24, 2014—A lawsuit filed by more than 20 collision repair shops in Florida against 39 insurers in U.S. District Court has been dismissed without prejudice by a U.S. District judge.
Judge Gregory Presnell requested that the auto body shop plaintiffs provide more specific information about their complaints.
Presnell denied a request from insurers to completely dismiss the suit, and gave the plaintiffs a June 27 deadline to refile the complaint.
Currently, the suit alleges that State Farm is at the center of an effort by many insurers to suppress labor rates and force shops to accept a lower payment for materials. It also alleges that insurance agencies participated in steering.
In his response, Presnell asked auto body shops to clarify which shops and insurers had direct repair program agreements. It also asked for the complaints to be reported specific to the affected shop, rather than a broad overview.