Tracy presented "The Anatomy of a Lawsuit: The Crucial Details of the $42 Million Verdict," taking attendees through the step-by-step process of the lawsuit, in addition to leaving them with tips to bring back to their shops to avoid being hit with their own multi-million dollar judgments.
"I think it's really important to have somebody like Todd here, so everybody can hear what he has to say firsthand," AASP/NJ President Jerry McNee said at the meeting. "I think it's important that we share information and we learn. What [you do] with this information when you leave here is going to make all the difference."
Tracy's fiery, passionate attitude was evident right from the start as he began his session by emphasizing to attendees that they need to become active industry participants if they expect anything to change.
"You need to be willing to have your face marred with blood, with sweat, with tears. You may go down in defeat time and time again, but eventually, if enough people get in the arena, you will overcome. This is the right time in the right environment, and our customers want their vehicles repaired the right way," he said.
In addition to the lawsuit, Tracy showed attendees the results of a crash test he had recently completed in California. He had taken a 2010 Honda Fit with aftermarket parts, another one with a glued-on roof and another one with OEM parts, and performed an IIHS crash test. Both the aftermarket parts vehicle and the vehicle with the glued-on roof underperformed in every category that Tracy tested for---all of which were crucial to occupants' safety.
"What does the test prove? And what can you use it for?" Tracy asked the audience. "You finally have test data that you can show to insurance companies."
"I thought that Todd was a very motivational, passionate and inspiring speaker," shared Dean Massimini (Autotech, Sewell). "He reinforced my commitment to performing proper repairs by following OEM repair procedures, and to make sure our customers are properly reimbursed for them! We were always aware of the liability we accept when repairing customers' vehicles, but some of his graphics really drove the point home."
"I commend Todd Tracy on his presentation to our association," noted Frank Constandi of Northeast Collision (Plainfield). "It is clear that Mr. Tracy is trying to address some of the many challenges that our industry has been facing for years, nationwide. This industry is truly in need of an advocate, such as Mr. Tracy, to help us move forward in our uphill battle with the insurance companies. It is a long road, but I believe with the right people in our corner, we will get there...slowly."
"I hope you guys are all taking something home today," McNee said at the end of the meeting. "At the end of the day, Todd's right -- it's all about the customer. It's about sharing information and knowing that there's strength in numbers."