Dec. 30, 2016—A lawsuit alleging that several insurance companies are pressuring auto body and repair shops to use substandard parts remains in stasis, according to a louisianarecord.com article. The case Parker Auto Body et al v. State Farm et al has stalled in the 11th Circuit Court.
In the case, the operator of Parker Auto Body in West Monroe, La. is suing State Farm Insurance and more than 50 other automotive insurance providers, alleging that they have joined together to leverage their collective market power and exert control over a large portion of the collision-repair industry. That includes fixing the cost of labor rates, controlling the cost of replacement parts, and forcing shops to use inferior or even dangerous replacement parts.
Additionally, the claim alleges the defendants are guilty of boycotting shops that are unwilling to comply with either their decision to control prices or their demands to use inferior and improper parts, and interfering with the plaintiff’s current and prospective business relations by intentionally misrepresenting and making knowingly false statements regarding the quality and reputation of the business.
“It’s an unfair practice and we think vehicles should be repaired the way the manufacturer says they should be,” Matt Parker, the owner of Parker Auto Body, told the louisianarecord.com. “Every time you want to represent the consumer, the insurance company wants you to do things the cheapest way possible and the end result is not safe.”
Currently, Parker’s lawsuit remains in stasis, but the shop owner said there is still a plan to continue pursuing the claim.