State Farm Responds to Claims of Influencing Non-OEM Auto Repair

A jury recently found Texas-based John Eagle Collision Center liable for injuries sustained by Matthew and Marcia Seebachan following a 2013 crash because  a repair was not done according to OEM specifications, according to the verdict. Now, State Farm is in the spotlight for its alleged role in influencing that repair. The couple is suing for negligence and breach of warranty.

The lawsuit stems from a non-OEM roof repair, which used an adhesive instead of being welded as Honda’s specifications outlined. According to John Eagle’s director Boyce Willis, State Farm wouldn’t pay the shop unless the repair was done according to its specifications as opposed to Honda’s.

“No insurance company should ever dictate to a collision repair center or body shop how to repair a vehicle. To do so is extremely negligent, and shows a wanton disregard for human life and the safety of others,” said Todd Tracy, attorney for the plaintiffs. “John Eagle did not repair the subject 2010 Honda Fit to Honda’s body repair specifications due to State Farm’s instructions, threats, and/or coercion.”

State Farm attorneys have responded to the allegations, denying the insurer had any influence over the repair.

“To the extent alleged, Defendant denies that it coerced or enticed any body shop to not follow vehicle manufacturer’s procedures, cut corners, take safety shortcuts, or do anything that jeopardizes members of the motoring public,” the response reads. “Defendant denies that it forced John Eagle to use deadly, dangerous, unproven, and untested adhesive rather than welds. Defendant also denies that it forced John Eagle to do anything in violation of OEM requirements.”

State Farm is motioned to have the lawsuits dismissed, claiming the defense of unconstitutionality. A scheduling order for the case has yet to be filed.

To read State Farm’s response, click here.

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3 Responses to State Farm Responds to Claims of Influencing Non-OEM Auto Repair

  1. robert says:

    Enough said. If you find it in writing that they told you BLAH BLAH BLAH. Then you have found the Holly Grail of Auto Body Repair and you also FOUND the Golden ticket. Your turning violet holding your breath. But HAy every dog gets bone???? Maybe??

  2. Roy Smalley says:

    My opinions which ain’t worth nothin’ at all: I doubt that the insurance industry understands where this is going. Of course insurer’s don’t “force”. Do they threaten, intimidate and coerce? Using terminology like threats and coercion can only mean one thing. It sure ain’t interference with a contract.

    Is there more than sufficient evidence for a claim of intimidation, coercion which inevitable end up as extortion, in just about any body shops files, starting with insurer’s estimates? Why do they write estimates and pass them off to body shops? Why do they allow some body shops to write estimates for them and yet not allow others? Who sets the operations, content of operations, and time standards for those estimates? Would it be the estimating providers that are not involved with actual repairs? Would it be surveys of labor conducted by insurers?

    Just askin…..

  3. Houston H. says:

    Interesting enough, a few years ago when I worked at State Farm and went to claims school in IL (not sure if they still do it), they showed us vehicles that were repaired using an adhesive. I specifically remember this part because he told us would we be concerned if they used an adhesive opposed to welding on frame parts. We were all clearly thinking that it didn’t make sense at all to use an adhesive vs. welding. Then he said, “what if I told you that the adhesive was used on planes, would you think it was better?” Eh. State Farm has way too many new reps that get lousy training. Does not surprise me if a rep denied the welding and refused to pay anything else.

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