New York Auto Glass Shop Owner Amends Complaint
in $2 Million Suit Against Insurers, TPAs; Claims Business Changed
October 17, 2011
David Harner, the owner of a Auto Glass of Westchester Windshield
Doctor in Westchester, N.Y., has filed an amended complaint in the
filed in May against 14 insurers, along with Pittsburgh Glass
Works, LYNX Services and Safelite. Harner, who is representing himself,
charges the companies with failure to pay assigned claims, fraud
or intentional misrepresentation, deceptive acts, restraint of trade
and unfair business practices, and tortious interference, and is
seeking $2 million plus court costs.
Among Harner's claims of tortious interference, he suggests that
many of the issues cited in the complaint began in approximately
1999. "For a period of more than 15 years, the plaintiff enjoyed
a profitable relationship with his customers including, but not
limited to, insurers, where the plaintiff's customers or plaintiff's
insurer customers would contact the plaintiff for services, the
plaintiff would submit the bill directly to the insurer, and the
insurer would fully pay the invoice directly to the plaintiff,"
writes Harner. "
On or about the year 1999, the defendant
insurers and TPAs commenced a pattern of conduct and business wherein,
the defendant insurers, acting in collusion with the TPAs, would
set a specific price for the types of services performed by the
Harner claims that the defendants' alleged actions have "denied
[him] his right to earn income, his ability to bring benefits to
the free market with lower claims costs, [and] create a sound business
reputation, and have denied him his right to continue to operate
his business without interference in a free, unfettered and profitable
One of Harner's claims involves the allegation that insurer representatives
who negotiate pricing or charges with repair shops in New York are
required to be licensed adjusters. He includes records from several
calls he says he has made to insurers and their third-party glass
claims administrators (TPAs) that he suggests demonstrate this allegation.
In several cases, Harner says he was told by an insurer employee
that in order to get paid for work he completed for that insurer's
customers he would have to bill its TPA.
Harner also cites several alleged instances where coverage was
confirmed for an insured, but he says he has not been paid for the
The glass shop owner goes on to list several scripted statements
that he suggests could be construed as forms of steering, such as
"[The plaintiff's repair shop is] not on our list;" "We
don't guarantee [the plaintiff's] work;" and "Your
policy will be changed in some fashion if you use [the plaintiff's]
repair shop to perform repairs." Harner alleges that such statements
could be considered "deceptive acts or practices in the conduct
Under Harner's charge of failure to pay claims, he lists more than
40 instances of work he has completed dating back to 2009 for which
he alleges he has not been paid.
He further catalogs several instances in which he says he was told
by insurers that coverage was available for auto glass work for
specific insureds, but has not been paid for the claims, nor had
the claims denied; Harner refers to this as "fraud or intentional
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