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Monday, 27 October 2014 00:00

LaCIA Holds September Member Meeting

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On the evening of Tuesday, September, 16, the Louisiana Collision Industry Association (LaCIA) gathered in Baton Rouge for their first meeting since July. Speakers at the meeting included Billy Easterling of ERS, Inc. who presented on OSHA compliance requirements and Attorney General Buddy Caldwell who updated attendees on the status of the lawsuit he recently filed against State Farm regarding the insurer’s steering practices.

The evening began with Easterling’s informative presentation on OSHA compliance. He handed out an informative packet which contained a helpful checklist for shops to use as a guideline. He also offered a free walkthrough to the shops present, and several shops signed up to have ERS, Inc. visit their facilities to ensure that they are not engaging in any OSHA violations that could result in fines or employee injuries.

Easterling also distributed a safety and compliance alert containing a list of shops scheduled to be visited and inspected by OSHA within the next three years. LaCIA will post this list to their website for future use.

Next, Attorney General Buddy Caldwell and several members of his staff provided an update on the status of their lawsuit against State Farm. Caldwell informed the group that State Farm is attempting to get their lawsuit consolidated with the others currently in Federal Court, but Stacie deBlieux, Assistant Attorney General, believes that they will be successful in their efforts to return the suit to the state of Louisiana where it belongs.

The Attorney General’s office is still in the discovery phase of gathering information and has promised to provide the association with a list of the information needed to help them prepare for the case. They have also established an online complaint form for shops to complete and submit; this form can be found at www.ag.state.la.us/InsuranceComplaints.aspx.LaCIA’s next meeting has been scheduled for Thursday, October 16 at the Marriott in Metairie, and Alysia Hanks, Executive Director of LaCIA, is excited to announce that renowned industry speaker Mike Anderson will be in attendance to present to attendees. Hanks has also tentatively scheduled the last meeting of the year for Saturday, November 15 in the Lafayette/Alexandria area, and she emphasizes, “it is so important that all of our members attend this meeting so we can discuss the board and agenda for next year.”

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