Florida collision repairers, suppliers and vendors came together in Lakeland, FL, on November 20 to discuss State Farm’s controversial PartsTrader program and identify solutions to combat “short-pay” trends in the industry.
Ray Gunder, of Gunder’s Auto Center in Lakeland, John Mosley, of Clinton Body Shop, Inc. of Clinton, Miss., along with several other Florida and Mississippi shop owners, joined attorneys John Eaves and Brent Geohagan to share their national efforts to stop State Farm’s attempts to impose a mandatory parts procurement program on an unwilling collision repair industry.
Mosley shared information regarding the recent CIC meeting at SEMA as well as discussions with State Farm’s George Avery. “The simple and clear message was, if you choose not to participate in PartsTrader, State Farm will immediately find you irrelevant,” said Mosley. “The message was clear that State Farm doesn’t care if the collision repair industry likes PartsTrader or not--they will continue to implement the program.”
John Mosley introduced attorney John Eaves who, along with his legal associates, have successfully represented plaintiffs in well-known litigation cases involving Big Tobacco, Hurricane Katrina, the BP oil spill, the Costa Concordia loss, and many others.
“We’re in Florida with the purpose of filing an injunction to stop PartsTrader,” Eaves said to the meeting attendees. “Our ultimate goal is to defeat this mandated parts procurement program and stop State Farm’s intrusion into the collision repair industry in Florida and across the country. We feel PartsTrader is a virus---it infiltrates and destroys long-term relationships between repairers and their suppliers---but we have the cure.”
Eaves added, “This issue isn’t just about you as individual repairers. This issue is about your responsibility to consumers around the nation who are relying upon you, the repair professionals, to look out for and to safeguard their best interests regarding their personal safety and economic well-being.”
To date John Eaves has spoken with more than 200 collision repair facilities in 23 states urging shops and vendors to combat the insurer’s intrusion into shops’ long-standing relationships with parts suppliers.
“Short Pays” Addressed
Additionally, Eaves and Mosley spoke about repairers coming together and filing litigation for “Short Pays” on performed repairs. Mosley stated that their research has shown, on average, that insurance companies have shorted shops $625 to $700 on a $3,500 repair for necessary procedures. These processes included color-sand and polish, fill-block and prime, test drive, clean car for delivery, and others. The attorneys have developed a list of more than 60 necessary procedures that are commonly omitted by insurers.
“This is about taking back the monies insurers have taken from you for procedures and materials that the repair required, that you the repairers have provided, that the consumer received, and that the insurer has failed to pay for,” said Eaves.
“That is considered “Unjust Enrichment” for the insurers, and our legal team is going to help participating shops get back the monies they were deprived of.”
Cathy Mills, Executive Director of the Florida Autobody Collision Alliance (FACA) announced during the meeting that FACA was in full support of efforts to stop PartsTrader from infiltrating the collision repair industry.
Barrett Smith of Auto Damage Experts (ADE), who was on hand to start the meeting, stated: “There has never been a better time for repairers to step up and collectively be represented and to stop the abuses that they face every day throughout the collision repair industry. Repairers must ask themselves: If not now… when?”
For more information, repairers are encouraged to contact Eaves Law Firm at (601) 355-7961 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
To sign the national petition against PartsTrader please goes to http://www.change.org/petitions/dear-state-and-federal-attorney-generals-legislators-and-the-federal-trade-commission-stop-insurer-mandated-programs