By CRM Staff

Miami, Florida -- August 18, 2014 -- The U.S.-based Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) has granted the request to consolidate five separate, albeit comparable, Federal lawsuits put forward by collision repair shops against insurance companies, claiming the insurers conspired to suppress labour rates.

The suits allege that automobile insurance companies attempted to suppress the reimbursement rates for collision repair orders, a violation of Section 1 of the U.S.’ Sherman Antitrust Act—a federal law prohibiting business activities deemed to be anti-competitive, requiring government investigation.

The suits that have been consolidated include:

  • Capitol Body Shop, Inc., et al. v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company, et al., filed on January 6 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi, Northern Division-Jackson
  • A&E Auto Body, Inc., et al. v. 21st Century Centennial Insurance Company, et al., filed February 24 in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida, Orlando Division
  •  Indiana AutoBody Association, Inc., et al. v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company, et al., filed April 2 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division
  • Alpine Straightening Systems, Inc., d/b/a Alpine Body Shop, et al. v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company, et al., filed April 10 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Utah, Central Division
  • Brewer Body Shop, LLC, et al. v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company, et al., filed April 22 in the United States District Court for the District of Tennessee, Western District.
The JPML, following their consolidation ruling, determined that the pretrial proceedings will be held in a U.S. District Court in Florida.

There are similar suits that have been filed in the states of Illinois and Louisiana, while repair shops in 35 other states are expected to file related grievances in the coming months.

 

Preview Our Magazines