A judge awarded Mark’s Body Shop of Baltimore, MD, full damages and court costs for insurer’s short-pay to their customer.
Mark Schaech, co-owner of Mark’s Body Shop, filed a lawsuit against GEICO for a short pay of $392.95 in repair costs of which the insurer refused to provide on behalf of their policyholder.
The underpayments included: degreasing vehicle prior to repair, feather-prime and block repaired panels, clean vehicle for deliver, clear OBD fault codes, reset electronics (recorded settings), mask for primer, and overhaul door handle for its refinishing.
Upon learning of the court’s judgment in his favor, Schaech said, “We offer exceptional quality and service to our customers and to continue to do so without being properly compensated is simply unreasonable and unsustainable. While my father (partner) and I would rather avoid having to take such legal actions, something had to be done as the insurer’s efforts to underpay our customers continued to increase. I felt like that guy on the movie Network where he stuck his head out the window and yelled: “I’m mad as hell and I’m not taking it anymore!”
“While Maryland does not allow the recovery of legal fees to the prevailing parties in such issues, we couldn’t allow that to be a deterrent in our being able to properly serve our customers and our employees. Insurers have continued cutting their costs while our costs for labor, materials and overhead have steadily increased. The only way we could survive was to either concede to the underpayments and cut our quality of materials and labor… or push back. We found short-pay litigation necessary to stop the insurer’s practice of underpaying our customers and to enable us to provide the quality repairs that earn our customer’s (and their referrals) for life.
“In April 2012, I had the opportunity to attend a free legal seminar in Florida where I met...Ray Gunder and Ray’s attorney, Brent Geohagan. This was a turning point for us. To hear Ray talk about how he knew that if he hadn’t done something he would be out of business struck a chord in me and I knew then that I too needed to do something or we’d lose our business...”