Aug. 20, 2015—A federal judge has ruled that Louisiana Attorney General James D. “Buddy” Caldwell’s lawsuit against State Farm Auto Insurance will be heard in a state court in Louisiana, where the suit was originally filed a year ago.
Caldwell’s office referred to the decision as a “win” for its case.
The suit alleges that State Farm violated Louisiana’s Unfair Trade Practices and Monopolies Law by steering consumers to State Farm’s preferred repair shops. State Farm allegedly forced shops to perform vehicle repairs quickly and cheaply and not in accordance with consumer safety and vehicle manufacturer performance standards.
State Farm had the case moved to federal court and then transferred to multi-district litigation pending in Florida through a procedurual mechanism available. Attorney General Caldwell filed motions in December 2014 to have the case transferred back to Louisiana. U.S. District Court Judge Gregory A. Presnell granted Caldwell’s motion and the case has been moved back to Louisiana.
“We are pleased that the Court ruled in our favor and will be sending the case back to Louisiana, where it belongs,” Caldwell said in a statement. “State Farm has violated Louisiana laws by engaging in a pattern of unfair and fraudulent business practices aimed at controlling the auto repair industry and forcing unsafe repairs on vehicles without the knowledge or consent of Louisiana consumers. We look forward to moving this case forward for the benefit and safety of our citizens.”