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John Yoswick

John YoswickJohn Yoswick is a freelance automotive writer based in Portland, Oregon, who has been writing about the collision industry since 1988. He is the editor of the weekly CRASH Network (for a free 4-week trial subscription, visit www.CrashNetwork.com).


He can be contacted at john@crashnetwork.com 

Wednesday, 18 May 2022 15:30

John Eagle Collision Center Faced Consequences for Not Following OEM Repair Procedures

Written by
Matthew and Marcia Seebachan. Matthew and Marcia Seebachan.

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Matthew and Marcia Seebachan are a Texas couple who, in the fall of 2017, were awarded $42 million by a jury in a lawsuit against a Dallas-area dealership body shop over auto accident injuries they said were exacerbated by faulty prior collision repairs made to their vehicle.

Within days of the verdict, the couple filed another lawsuit, alleging State Farm pushed John Eagle Collision Center to make those repairs as they did. They settled that lawsuit in October of 2018; terms of the settlement were not disclosed.

 

In the couple’s lawsuit against the shop, the dealership was found to be 75% responsible, with the driver of the other vehicle in the crash found to be 25% responsible.

 

The case hinged largely on the shop’s failure to follow OEM repair procedures, specifically the use of structural adhesive---rather than welds, as called for by the automaker---to attach a replacement roof to a 2010 Honda Fit after a 2012 hail-related claim.

 

The Seebachans later purchased that vehicle, and argued successfully in their lawsuit against the dealership shop that their injuries in a subsequent accident were more severe because the roof separated and failed to protect them as it would have if Honda repair procedures had been followed.

 

As part of their argument in the lawsuit against State Farm, the couple cited the director of the John Eagle Collision Center who indicated the insurer can “trump” OEM repair procedures based on payment practices.

 

“Well, unfortunately, we’re guided by insurance,” the shop’s director said in a deposition in the original lawsuit. “So…if you brought your car into my shop, the insurance company’s going to dictate…how we’re going to repair your car.”

 

The director was asked if the insurer can trump the OEM procedures.

 

“Yes, they can,” he responded. “By not paying the bill.”

 

A spokesperson for State Farm declined to comment on the settlement; the company had previously said...


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