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Tuesday, 24 December 2019 20:20

11th Circuit Court Dismisses Suit Alleging Conspiracy to Deflate Collision Repair Changes

Written by Jim Sams, Insurance Journal
11th Circuit Court Dismisses Suit Alleging Conspiracy to Deflate Collision Repair Changes iStock

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In its analysis, the 11th Circuit noted that a group of auto body shops has filed a similar lawsuit that was also rejected. In Quality Auto Paining Center of Roselle v. State Farm, the appellate court dismissed a suit that alleged that insurance carriers were violating anti-trust laws by colluding to improperly pressure body shops to accept lower repair prices.

 

The court said in order to pursue a claim under the RICO act, the repair shops would have to show that they there were the victim of a fraud or extortion. The fraud alleged in the complaint, however, consisted of nothing more than “vague allusions” to misrepresentations made by the insurers. There was also no allegation of extortion, which means to use force, violence or fear to obtain property.

 

“Plaintiffs could have refused to perform the requested repairs at the rates set by defendants, but they did not,” the panel said. “They went ahead and performed those repairs. This is not extortion.”

 

The panel also rejected plaintiffs’ arguments that the district judge erred by not entering several exhibits into evidence and by refusing them an opportunity to amend their complaint a third time.

 

We thank Insurance Journal for reprint permission.

 


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