SOUTHEAST NEWS (287)
Florida, Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi
Autobody News' SouthEast print edition is mailed to 6,500 body shops monthly
The Florida Supreme Court on July 5 sided with an appellate court and struck down a 2008 law that barred public insurance adjusters from soliciting business right after a disaster.
The law was enacted to prevent public adjusters, hired by policyholders to represent them during the claims process, from contacting people when they’re in shock and haven’t had a chance to resolve a claim with their insurer.
A new law went into effect July 1 to assist Florida’s fight against suspicious claims and insurance fraud problems with the personal injury protection (PIP) law.
One of the biggest supporters of this law was Florida’s CFO, Jeff Atwater, who is concerned with the many relationships between pain clinics and attorneys when it comes to insurance benefits.
The new law brings some major changes to Personal Injury Protection.
A 2008 Florida law establishing a 48-hour moratorium on public adjusters was ruled unconstitutional July 5 by the Florida Supreme Court on grounds that it restricted commercial speech.
The Florida Supreme Court has declared unconstitutional a state law banning public insurance adjusters from soliciting policyholders during the first 48 hours after a damaging event.
Alan and Kathleen Van Nimwegen, owners of Seminole Paint and Auto Body Shop in Sanford, FL, went missing when their private plane crashed in severe weather during a flight from the Bahamas the morning of July 16. They were the only people on board.
The U.S. Coast Guard has now called off the search to locate the Nimwegens after their Beechcraft Bonanza BE 36 crashed shortly after take off about 9:20 AM on a return trip from Bahamas to Daytona Beach. The Coast Guard responded quickly, deploying a helicopter that found a massive debris field, oil slick and empty life raft around five miles off Great Harbour Cay. USCG Petty Officer Jon-Paul Rios said that searchers concentrated on the area off Great Harbour Cay, near the Berry Islands, after a Coast Guard C130 airplane spotted a debris field. The Coast Guard cutter Dolphin also responded to the scene.
Nissan Motor Co. will add 1,000 jobs at its Canton, MS plant, where it will build the all-new 2013 Nissan Sentra compact.
The addition of Sentra production in the fourth quarter, along with the planned November shift of the Frontier pickup truck and Xterra SUV to Canton from Nissan's operations in Smyrna, TN will increase the Mississippi plant's workforce to 4,500 by creating 1,000 jobs.
"The Canton team has proved it can compete and win on a global scale, and it is due to this that we are adding three vehicles to our production roster in Mississippi," said Bill Krueger, vice chairman at Nissan Americas.
The expansion will increase Nissan's investment to date in the 3.5-million-square-foot plant opened in 2003 to more than $2 billion.
The automaker will also produce the new Sentra at its Mexican plant in Aguascalientes. It builds the current model there now.
The Canton plant currently builds the Armada full-size SUV, Titan full-size pickup and NV commercial vans. With the addition of Frontier and Xterra production, it will serve as a hub for trucks and other body-on-frame vehicles.
A new law went into effect on July 1 to assist Florida's fight against suspicious claims and insurance fraud problems with the personal injury protection (PIP) law.
One of the biggest supporters of this law was Florida’s CFO, Jeff Atwater, who has appeared to be concerned with the many relationships between pain clinics and attorneys when it comes to insurance benefits.
The new law brings some major changes to Personal Injury Protection.
AutoBody America, a Nashville, TN based operator of collision repair facilities in Tennessee, Mississippi and Arkansas, announced the appointment of Will Johnston to the position of president. Johnston will also continue to serve as chief financial officer while Pat James will remain the company’s chief executive officer.
Johnston is a graduate of Duke University, where he studied economics, business management and marketing. After working in the process design department of Andersen Consulting, he was hired by AutoBody America, Inc., in 1999 to help create a scalable process and technology model. In 2006, he accepted an offer from Pat James to join him as an equity partner and has since been promoted from vice president to chief operating officer and chief financial officer. Johnston grew up and still resides in Nashville with his wife, Irish, and their children, Jake and Harper.
AutoBody America currently has 19 locations throughout Tennessee, Mississippi and Arkansas with plans to continue accelerating their growth.
A Tabor City, NC, auto body shop owner is the latest to be charged in a series of Brunswick County thefts involving owners of another Columbus County business.
Barry Worley, 46, of Mill Branch Church Road, was charged with three counts of possession of stolen property - two felonies and a misdemeanor, said Capt. David Nobles of the Columbus County Sheriff's Office.
The Orlando Region Parts, Service and Body Shop Managers Club will host a golf tournament on Thursday, July 19. Registration begins at 11 a.m. at the Grand Cypress Golf Club in Orlando, FL. Shotgun tee time is at 12:30 p.m.
A welcome cocktail reception will be held from 6-7 p.m. with dinner and awards following.
On Friday, July 20, a vendor trade fair will be held at the hotel, Wyndham Grand Orlando Resort Hotel at Bonnet Creek, 14651 Chelonia Parkway Orlando, FL. Club president Russ Caron will provide opening remarks and event instructions at 8 a.m.
On Friday evening, a 65th Anniversary Dinner Celebration, called a “Blue Tie Event,” will be held. Ties will be supplied and are sponsored by Continental Tire. Men will be required to wear a blue tie (jackets and dress shirts are NOT required). Women and others are just asked to wear something blue.
Ray Gunder, on behalf of his company’s customers, has filed multiple individual lawsuits against several insurers for their short pays of fair and reasonable charges.
In the past week or so, Ray Gunder of Gunder’s Auto Center in Lakeland, Florida has instructed his company’s legal counsel, Brent Geohagan, to file four separate lawsuits seeking recovery of the costs for various services and materials provided to his customers of which several insurers failed or refused to provide ample consideration. In each instance, the individual customer has authorized Ray Gunder to act in their behalf to seek recovery of the underpayments that each know are their personal financial obligation. They are as follows:
With the exception of a hot automotive industry, job growth in Alabama’s hard-hit manufacturing sector trails most other states as the anemic economic recovery struggles to take hold, economists said recently.
While Alabama had 239,400 manufacturing jobs in March, the highest level since October 2009, it remains far below the pre-recession peak of 297,800 in January 2007, figures from the Alabama Department of Industrial Relations show. Factory jobs fell by 100 last month to 239,300.