State Farm Asks for Steering Lawsuit in Maryland to Be Dismissed

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On Sept. 27, State Farm filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit brought against it earlier this year by Total Recon Auto Center in Rockville, MD, which claims the auto insurance giant is steering Tesla customers away by intentionally giving its insureds false information.

A report from GlassBytes.com said in the lawsuit filed in mid-August in a U.S. District Court in Maryland, Total Recon claimed State Farm initially agrees to pay the auto body shop’s Tesla labor rate of $50 an hour, but then “steers” away its customer so they don’t have to pay out of pocket the difference between the labor rate charged by the shop and what State Farm is willing to cover. Total Recon said State Farm uses language like “this shop does charge out of pocket expenses,” and that it is “out of network.”

Total Recon sent a cease and desist letter to State Farm in May. In the lawsuit it filed three months later, Total Recon asked for $75,000 in damages.

State Farm requested a dismissal of the case, saying the auto body shop does not have a claim upon which relief can be granted, and it fails to meet the required pleading standards. The insurance company argued statements about out-of-pocket expenses, costs, charges and reasonable vs. unreasonable repairs do not amount to defamation.

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