Attorneys representing Safelite have responded to Connecticut in the Second Circuit Court of Appeals further arguing against the state’s anti-steering law, claiming, “When PA 13-67(c)(2) is subject to the appropriate test—that announced in Central Hudson—it becomes clear that Safelite’s First Amendment challenge is likely to succeed and that a preliminary injunction should issue.” Safelite appealed a lower court’s decision to the Appellate Court, seeking to halt enforcement of Connecticut’s anti-steering law.
“The state’s attempts to show a ‘substantial state interest’ are belied by the record showing that the real purpose of the statute was to insulate in-state repair shops from interstate competition,” Safelite’s attorneys write. “And the claim that the measure was designed to protect consumers is belied by the fact that not one consumer had ever complained and the state’s own insurance regulators testified there was no problem in need of a solution. All of this is worlds away from the kind of ‘substantial state interest’ that can justify incursions on freedom of speech. In the end, it is plain that the state is seeking to regulate speech here because it is uncomfortable with the underlying structure of the business model that Safelite operates.”
Further, according to Safelite’s attorneys, “The district court erred in denying the motion for preliminary injunction. Safelite respectfully submits that the order should be reversed and the matter remanded with instructions to enter a preliminary injunction preventing Defendants-Appellees from enforcing PA 13-67(c)(2) pending resolution of this action.”
In late April, Connecticut officials responded in the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in support of the state’s anti-steering law, claiming, “Safelite Solutions has been extraordinarily effective at steering consumers to Safelite AutoGlass.” Safelite appealed a lower court’s decision to the Appellate Court, seeking to halt enforcement of Connecticut’s anti-steering law—PA 13-67.
“The District Court found that ‘[a]lthough there are over 70 non-affiliated repair shops in Connecticut that are part of Safelite’s network, from January 1, 2012 to June 30, 2013, insureds selected Safelite AutoGlass for their repairs approximately 55 percent of the time,” Connecticut’s attorneys claim. “[W]hen Safelite is not required to provide the names of any non-affiliated glass repair shops, Safelite steers consumers to affiliated shops a majority of the time.”
Stay tuned to glassBYTEs.com for the latest updates on this case.