Tuesday, 07 September 2021 21:42

GEICO Seeking to Amend Lawsuit Against Oregon Auto Body Shop

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GEICO is seeking to amend its lawsuit against Leif’s Auto Collision Centers and shop owner Leif Hansen to add allegations of unjust enrichment, and to elaborate on why it is asking the court to allow the insurer to refuse to do business with Leif’s because GEICO believes continuing to do so puts its employees’ safety at risk.

Since GEICO originally filed the lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Oregon in 2017, the insurer has argued it should not have to do business with Portland-based Leif’s, despite Oregon’s law guaranteeing consumers the right to use their choice of shop, because doing so, GEICO said, subjects its employees to menacing and other harassment by the shop.


The suit alleges Leif’s employees routinely yell at adjusters, threaten to have them arrested or to sue them personally and carry around knives and talk about guns “with the intention of frightening GEICO adjusters.”


The proposed amended lawsuit also alleges once customers bring their vehicles to Leif’s, the shop “often encourages its customer to allow Leif’s to ‘handle’ all issues related to the insurers, including notifying those insurers that particular vehicles are on their property.”


But the shop, the amended lawsuit alleges, “often…intentionally delays” notifying GEICO about such vehicles, “racking up unnecessary or improper fees and expenses (including but not limited to storage fees) while a vehicle is at Leif’s.”


It alleges Leif’s obtained a “power of attorney work authorization” from a customer for a vehicle repaired at another shop and paid for by GEICO. That vehicle had been repaired using a “refurbished part,” which Leif’s removed and replaced with a new OEM part “even though there was no valid reason to do so.” The shop sought to be paid for this work, “along with hundreds of dollars in unnecessary fees and costs, and has in fact held the vehicle in question for over two years.”


The amended lawsuit also alleges Leif’s “will perform hundreds if not thousands of dollars of work” related to teardown of “an obvious total loss,” while refusing to allow GEICO to...

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