Wednesday, 19 May 2010 10:49

Florida Repairer Ray Gunder Not Done Yet

On May 18,  the Federal Court of Appeals in Atlanta, GA, ordered State Farm Insurance to undergo mediation with Gunder’s in an effort to bring a satisfactory resolution to Gunder’s claim against State Farm for Tortious Interference and Slander. (Tortious interference of business occurs when false claims and accusations are made against a business or an individual's reputation in order to drive business away.)

The Appelant court order was  in response to Gunder’s Auto Center’s request for appeal of a Florida courts recent summary judgment.

“If you read recent articles by some industry writers, they’ve made it sound as if we lost our case against State Farm and the matter was over and done with” says Ray Gunder, founder of the 42-year old family owned and operated Gunder’s Auto Center in Lakeland, Florida.

“It would appear that some writer’s intent is to vindicate Sate Farm’s actions and to discourage other repairers from stepping up and defending their good names and their businesses. Our case is far from over! We got knocked back a bit, but not knocked down or out.

“The slander case (which was summarily discharged by the lower court) allowed us a great deal of discovery and through many hours of depositions and review of acquired documentation we uncovered extensive evidence to support our claims.

Says Gunder, "No, this is far from over; we just need our day in court to allow a ‘jury of our peers’ to decide who did what to whom and why. I believe this recent ruling by the Appellate court is telling State Farm that our case has merit and you’d better make this go away or else."

They (the court) could have merely declined to address it and they didn’t. We have a great deal of time and resources invested and I’m not giving up until we have exhausted every avenue of the legal system to reconcile the damages and harm State Farm has caused our family, my business, my employees and our customers.”

The mediation is currently scheduled for June 10th in Florida.