Tuesday, 18 December 2012 22:57

Florida Judge Upholds Repairers Right to Hold Power of Attorney in Cases Against Insurance Companies

On Dec. 13, a judge’s ruling gave Florida repairers the green light for power of attorney.

Brent Geohagan was the attorney representing both Ray Gunder of Gunder’s Auto Center, Inc. and Paul Hawks of Bernies Paint & Body, Inc., both of Lakeland, FL, in defending the repairer’s rights to stand in the shoes of their customers as their Power of Attorney.

Judge  Reinaldo Ojedo patiently listened to State Farm’s contentions as to why the six lawsuits Ray Gunder has filed against the nation’s largest personal auto insurer should be dismissed on grounds that Gunder did not having standing based upon the Power of Attorney granted by his customers.

Progressive Insurance’s legal counsel was also present for the same issue relative to a lawsuit levied against them by Paul Hawks on behalf of his customer and the insurer’s policyholder.

After hearing arguments from both State Farm’s counsel and Brent Geohagan, the judge ruled that the repairers do indeed have legal standing on behalf of customers who grant them Power of Attorney, and as such, he denied the insurer’s motions to dismiss all seven cases.

Brent Geohagan stated, “I feel strongly that the court made the correct decision and while this is but one more in a long line of victories for Ray and his customers, that is warranted and well deserved, it’s a significant victory for the entire collision repair industry in Florida and beyond … and the fight goes on and will as long as need be!”

“I was extremely proud while I sat watching and listening to Brent’s passion, preparation and expertise as he defeated each of the insurer’s arguments,” said Gunder.

“This is a huge deal, as once again, State Farm’s efforts to avoid disclosure of their internal business practices have been unsuccessful. We’re excited as to see what will be revealed in upcoming depositions and discovery,” Gunder said.

 

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