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Friday, 22 August 2014 17:00

Tampa Television Station Highlights Poor Quality Repairs, Body Shop Lawsuits Against Insurers

Report highlights repair quality issues and collision repairer lawsuits against insurers. Warns consumers their families could be “…at risk on the road.”

Consumers in Florida were exposed to the controversies surrounding collision repair quality and insurance company practices that are the subject of lawsuits in the state and around the U.S. when Tampa ABC-affiliate, WFTS, aired a segment on its Action News broadcast. The I-Team investigation detailed consumer complaints of poor quality collision repairs that, according to the report, were performed by insurance company direct repair facilities. The report included an interview with Ray Gunder, owner of Gunder’s Auto Center, who is one of the plaintiffs in a lawsuit, A&E Auto Body, Inc., et al. v. 21st Century Centennial Insurance Company, et al, brought against more than 30 insurance companies operating in Florida.

In the segment, embedded below, the reporter details consumer complaints on the quality of repairs received and explains for viewers the legal action taken by repairers against the insurers.

In the report, an emailed statement from Insurance Information Institute defended insurance company DRPs saying steps to manage repair costs benefit consumers and that consumers have a choice of repairer.

In late June, plaintiffs in the A&E Auto Body suit filed an amended complaint after the initial complaint was dismissed by the Judge in the case. In a press release announcing the filing of the amended complaint, Gunder states, “In reading the complaint, everyone in this industry knows it to be the truth… I am looking forward to bringing the issues to a jury and exposing the insurer’s egregious practices and ending the suppression that has been so harmful to our industry and to the consumers we serve. All repairers want is to serve our customers in an unencumbered manner and to see our employees earn a fair wage for their efforts.”

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