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Thursday, 05 April 2007 14:48

NY collision repair shop files 40 million lawsuit against Progressive

 North State Custom of Bedford Hills, New York announced in February that a lawsuit has been filed in the Westchester County Supreme Court of the state of New York.
 North State is an auto body repair shop that has been doing business under the guidelines of a New York State registered automotive & body repair shop. The business was established more than 30 years ago. It maintains a state-of-the-art facility and certification from Mercedes, BMW, and Jaguar, among others.
 The owner of North State Customs is a CCRE member. CCRE has sent out this release in an effort gain nationwide support from the auto collision industry, I-CAN and consumers. CCRE said many in the industry are feeling the effects of steering and this case is a prime example of what is beginning to happen.
 The suit alleges that for the past several years, including but not limited to 2001 to present, Progressive engaged in activity where it steered its insureds to its DRP program shops by making claims that the independent shops might not be guaranteed or fully covered, or that the work will be overpriced or unduly delayed.
 The suit alleges that Progressive has implemented this by having its employees, adjusters and/or appraisers make misleading and knowingly false and/or exaggerated statements concerning North State and other independent auto body shops, to its insureds/claimants, in an effort to coerce the insured/claimant to have their car repaired at Progressive’s DRP shop.
 In the case of North State, the claim is that defendants have habitually coerced its insureds/claimants to have their vehicle removed from North State and brought to a DRP upon defendants’ representations to their insureds/claimants that North State is not a reputable body shop.
 The suit further alleges that Progres-sive has violated through it’s unfair claims practices New York State regulation section 2610 of the insurance law that states: “An Insurance Company cannot require that repairs be made to a motor vehicle in a particular place or repair shop. You have the right to have your vehicle repaired in the shop of your choice.”
 The claims are as follows:
 Progressive sent person(s) who were not qualified to issue damage repair estimates to appraise the damage to its insured's vehicles.
 Progressive failed to inform its insureds that its employees were not qualified to appraise high end vehicles and issue damage reports/appraisals concerning those vehicles.
 Progressive, with intent to deceive, does not properly and professionally evaluate the damage to its insured's vehicle
 Progressive intimidates and bullies claimants into the mistaken belief that they shall be required to make substantial out of pocket payments for the repair of their vehicle (unless they select a DRP facility).
 Progressive rewarded those employees who were successful at steering and penalized those who were not
 Progressive told insureds that North State would keep their vehicle for an unreasonably long period of time
Progressive told insureds that it was prohibited to come on North State's property when such was never the cas
 The suit further claims that every aspect of Progressive’s scheme is motivated by money without regard for their insureds, the businesses that serve their insureds, and the public/consumer at large. There are 8 separate causes of action contained in the lawsuit.
 For more information contact North State Customs (914) 241-1234.
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