The second cause of action is the Violation of General Business Law §349 Against Tri-State. “…Tri-State has continually engaged in unfair claims practices… including using inappropriate methods of determining the number of hours of labor, the arbitrary capping of labor rates, arbitrary capping of paint and materials, refusing to pay for body shop materials, and misleading consumers regarding the availability of other repair shops that would put the vehicle to its pre-loss condition for the amount of Tri-State’s estimate,” the lawsuit states.
The third cause of action is Deceptive Business Practices in Violation of General Business Law §349 against IANet Corp for allegedly acting in “bad faith” and “… changing adjusters’ estimates without inspection, setting arbitrary caps on price of certain tasks and otherwise interfering with the claims process…” according to court documents.
The last three causes of action are Tortious Interference With Business Relationship Against each of the adjusters. The lawsuit states that each of the adjusters interfered with the body shop’s contracts with its customers to repair the vehicles for “no legitimate purpose” and “acted maliciously” and with the sole purpose of harming the Plaintiff and its repair contracts. The lawsuit is currently in the discovery phase and the next court date is scheduled for Jan. 9, 2019.
Autobody News reached out to Crupi, Jr. to learn more about the lawsuit and the issues collisions repairers should be aware of.
Q: Why did you decide to file this lawsuit?
A: I filed this lawsuit among others because I will not have my customers, my business or its people pushed around. At Barry’s Auto Body, we believe in saving money where possible, but we will never compromise the quality of our work or the safety of our customers driving these automobiles in order to increase insurance company’s yearly profit margins.