Gunder and State Farm Settle in Short Pay Case
March 28, 2012

by Katie O'Mara,

Raymond Gunder, owner of Gunder’s Auto Center in Lakeland, Fla., has settled with State Farm over short payment that the insurance company provided. The case began when Gunder’s customer, Donnie Tarrell, brought his 2008 Mercury Mariner Premier into the shop for repair after a collision. According to Gunder’s original complaint, “a State Farm representative ‘inspected’ the damaged Mercury in order to prepare an estimate for repair of the damaged Mercury. The State Farm representative underestimated the amount necessary, reasonable and ‘competitive in the market area’ to bring the damaged Mercury back to pre-loss condition ... in fact, State Farm failed and refused to pay for and/or reimburse Mr. Tarrell/Gunder for the repair charges associated with numerous repair procedures that were necessary and reasonable for purposes of bringing the damaged Mercury back to pre-loss condition.”

Gunder sued for $79, which was the remaining cost of the repair, attorney fees and interest. The case has now been settled and both parties have agreed to dismiss the case with prejudice of this action, meaning it cannot be filed again. Gunder has received a $79 check from State Farm to fulfill the cost of repair in this case.

“It has been interesting to see how State Farm has gone from flat-out denials requiring a hearing in front of a judge to conceding upon receiving a lawsuit and a Civil Remedy Notice,” says Gunder. “Hopefully they will dispense with the initial denials and provide their claimants with the necessary labor and procedures to properly repair people’s vehicles. They could save much more money by providing reasonable compensation than paying legal fees and costs. Maybe this responsible behavior would in turn lower insurance costs for their customers.”

Gunder and Barrett Smith of Auto Damage Experts, are now offering a free legal seminar in Florida to help other repairers who may be in similar situations.

“This legal seminar is not about how to sue insurance companies. It’s about protecting yourself, your company and your employees from easily avoidable liabilities, loss of profits and other important issues of which every viable business is confronted. I and others have already blazed that trail,” says Gunder. “If anything, this seminar will concentrate on how to prepare and operate your business in a manner that will build relationships that will help avoid the legal measures that I and others have been forced to take.”

This story is an original story by AGRR™ magazine/™. Subscribe to AGRR™ Magazine.
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